Humans or Gods?

In the pro segment of “Pro and Con: Should Gene Editing Be Performed on Human Embryos?” by John Harris, he mentions that “CRISPR could be used to modify disease- causing genes in embryos brought to term, removing the faulty script from the genetic code of that person’s future descendants as well. Proponents of such “human germline editing” argue that it could potentially decrease, or even eliminate, the incidence of many serious genetic diseases, reducing human suffering worldwide.” Being able to help millions of people and possibly cure diseases that we otherwise don’t have any control over is a really exciting thought, but there are definitely things to fear when it comes to having power like this. For one, we don’t know the consequences that could come with permanently altering the genetic structures of future generations. Furthermore, opening the door to this kind of technology will ultimately “lead to its escape from regulatory limits, to its adoption for enhancement purposes, and to the emergence of a market-based eugenics that would exacerbate already existing discrimination, inequality, and conflict” (Darnovsky). It would be fantastic if we could genetically modify away human diseases, but every action has a reaction and there’s always someone that will abuse technologies like CRISPR.
I think I’m still really conflicted when it comes to deciding if gene editing should be done on humans. Being able to help end the suffering of so many people is not insignificant, but when it comes to gene editing-it won’t end the suffering of that person it’ll just help to prevent it from being passed down. Honestly, all of the gene editing will be passed down which I believe is the most frightening part of this whole operation. By editing the genes in humans we’re editing the genes of the rest of that generation and we can never undo this. Although it would be great to eliminate diseases, we don’t really know how changing a gene will affect people as it continues to be passed down the line. Also I really agree with Darnovsky that gene editing will escape regulation and this is absolutely terrifying. The thought of people altering generations of other people forever simply to look certain ways or to have certain physical traits could make our world more cosmetic, aesthetic based, and “fake”-r than ever.

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