Should Humans Play God?

In Specter’s article regarding CRISPR technology, both the positive and negative consequences are discussed intensely. The most promising positive consequence of developing, understanding, and using CRISPR technology are the medical applications it has. With this technology, Specter states that certain diseases and disorders like hemophilia could be found and then edited out of the infected stem cells and new, normal cells could be injected to replace the old ones (Specter p. 3). This is a huge step within the medical field because if scientists are able to edit these stem cells, they may be able to prevent genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs from being passed through generations. However, on the flip side of this, a huge looming, negative consequence is the idea that we may never be able to return after we start using this technology (Specter, p. 4). This technology has a massive scope and because of this, the negative effects are intense. If we apply this technology and it works, people may start to pay to create designer babies or create a huge monopoly to the point where only the rich could get the help they need.

I think that the idea of gene editing is one that has a lot of positive aspects, however, the cons seem to outweigh the pros. Specter mentions how we have “death panels” in this country, basically people who decide who lives and who dies on a list of people who need organ transplants, which is extremely awful but this technology won’t completely solve that (Specter, p. 4). In my opinion, this technology would purely ensure that those who have the capability and wealth to afford the technology will get care and those who can’t, won’t. So for this reason, I think we should avoid the concept of gene editing and just stick to other research opportunities to solve human health problems.

1 thought on “Should Humans Play God?”

  1. Good summary of the medical pros and cons of CRISPR. I agree with your thought that realistically applying CRISPR has more cons than pros. An important point you made was the reality of CRISPR becoming a vessel for the wealthy if it were used on humans rather than the ideological application of helping everyone. It simply couldn’t work that way. Such a technology may have potentially medically promising results, but it could also be socially dangerous. It could easily pull the rich and the poor further apart, feed white supremacy, or further marginalize the disabled. Additionally, the medical and biological consequences are unknown. These “good” cures and innovations come with unknown reaction that, for all we know, could invent entirely new problems.

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