Bioethics Paper – Gene Therapy
Table of Contents
Gene therapy is a discipline that involves introducing curative genes made in the test centers into the genetic material of a patient’s cells to cure an inherited ailment. It is an investigational form of cure that is still at its early stages but that has the capability to transform cure for generic disorders. However, this discipline offers a wide range of ethical and moral concerns that have faced criticism overtime. Issues to be discussed in this paper include uses of gene therapy, its effects, benefits, and religious views based on it.
Potential Uses of Gene Therapy
There are several potential uses of gene therapy. It is predicted that this technology will soon be used to improve the performance of athletes. Gene doping can be used to increase the power and size of muscles, reduce pain and boost quick healing of sport wounds (Ginn et al. 70). Australia has already implemented this initiative (Yang et al. 921). Furthermore, policies have been established by use of gene therapy to correct genetic modifications that bring about ailments in humans. Another potential use of gene therapy is treatment of cancer. New genes can be introduced into a cancerous cell to destroy the cells or reduce their rate of growth. This therapy may be used with other cures to make cancer a controllable sickness (Ginn et al. 70).
Pros and Cons
There are several advantages associated with gene therapy. There is an outstanding unexploited therapeutic prospective in it. It is possible to remove a cancer gene in an unborn child by use of this technology, thus giving life to human beings (Meir et al. 28). Faulty cells can also be substituted in humans through gene therapy. This is especially important for genetic disorders that have no cure unless malfunctioning genes are replaced. Gene therapy can also be used to silence a gene. For instance, scientists can save a person who has not developed AIDS but has HIV by silencing genes before the beginning of the disease. The disadvantages are the short-lived nature of the gene therapy, which makes patients undertake the procedure repeatedly. The effectiveness of this expertise is adversely affected by immune reactions and this poses jeopardy to the life of the patient (Meir et al. 28). Multigene conditions may also arise due to the collective effects of disparities on genes and they are challenging to treat. A good example is arthritis.
Issues Surrounding Gene Therapy Regulation
Gene therapy legislation aims at guarding human beings by reducing the risks for people participating in it. Issues like the age of approval and lack of accepted standards of care have risen and they are doubted as to whether they are ethical doctrines to be applied in regulation. Too inflexible executions of these principles affect proper enactment of gene therapy since they limit the freedom of patients. France and the United Kingdom have shown that there are still major factors preventing gene therapy from becoming a reliable way to cure genetic conditions (Yang et al. 921).
A social impact of gene therapy is that its high cost makes it out of reach for people from lower classes since only the rich can afford it. There might be chances of discrimination based on whether one is inherently or non-genetically modified (Meir et al. 28). Economic impacts in countries like China are that businesses will contest with each to offer cheaper and effective technologies (Yang et al. 921). Insurance providers may also offer services to shield for the costs of gene therapy.
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Health Related Benefits
There are science and health related benefits of the bioethical issue such as gene therapy. Researchers have established a procedure to cure diabetes. Cells are inoculated into the liver and it starts discharging insulin. Another benefit is that immunodeficiency ailments can be cured. The recent cure is bone marrow transfer from a matched child. Researchers in France already use it (Yang et al. 921).
Future of Gene Therapy on Human Species
Gene therapy has a prospective future impact in the treatment of genetic disorders in humans such as muscular dystrophy or even hemophilia. The therapy involves a technique that replaces the absent gene with a working gene. Therefore, with the working gene, the body makes the precise enzymes or proteins and subsequently removes the root cause of the disease. Germline treatment is an example of gene therapy and is the only way to deal with some genetics complications. It ensures that parents with genetic diseases do not pass their defectives genes to their children. Hence, the future generation of human beings is well protected. Europe has carried several trials on gene therapy to attest to its advantages (Quittet et al. 80).
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Gene therapy has transformed the world of medicine. Many physicians and doctors have changed their roles since gene therapy has changed the practice of medicine from a cure based to a prevention based practice. They have identified that the future is locked inside the genes of people. In addition, researchers have stopped developing new drugs to finding the ultimate solutions. They have the objective of ensuring that every genetic disease has a gene therapy. According to the chart below, 1.1 percent trials from Canada and 1.9 from Japan have been reported in order to enhance the research (Yang et al. 921).
Some fundamental religious and cultural beliefs show a clear negative response to this bioethical subject. They appeal to early and varied behaviors of moral replication to address the subject of gene therapy. Some say it is erroneous to use gene therapy. For example, the Roman Catholics in Italy debate that gene therapy infringes the crucial realism of human personality and the nature of socially related persons within it (Gona et al. 77). Others beliefs embrace that more consideration is needed given the new logical and technological advances. This is to determine how to interpret and assess the prospect of gene therapy in light of essential religious principles and customs.