Eliminating Blindness Through Germ-line Eugenics

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With the new technological advances newer ethical dilemmas inevitably occur. Germ-line therapy is a new technology that is giving scientist the ability to alter the genetic code of germ cells (sperm, and eggs). This could give scientists complete control over the genetic makeup of an individual. The ethical dilemmas occur with how much control they will take. Scientists could try to alter or replace only genes that are detrimental to the future child's health, or they could go as far as to control genes that affect hair and eye color in the child. Many people agree that eliminating terminal diseases could be beneficial, but others argue that controlling aspects of a person's genetics could lead to a form of negative eugenics that would alter social structure forever. Harold Lucas argues that they have the opportunity to eliminate blindness by using germ-line therapy, and that they should do so because "many blind people have a hard time in our society . (1) There is a significant difference between having a terminal genetic disease and a disorder like blindness. Germ-line therapy could create moral justice by giving children who would otherwise be blind an open future, but it is unclear if blindness is really detrimental enough to individuals to be removed from the gene pool. At the current time germ-line therapy used to eradicate blindness is not morally acceptable because the risks involved with procedures are high, there is a potential for moral injustices toward blind people, a slippery slope into eugenics would become almost unavoidable, and there are many acceptable methods to create sighted children already available.

One of the most obvious benefits of eliminating blindness would be giving children with blindness-causing genes an open future. They would not have to worry about being disadvantaged with blindness. A child who is born blind will never have the option to have sight some day. If a child is born with sight

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