Ethical Issues and Genetic Science

The advances in scientific expertise bring with them moral dilemmas. Genetic research offers great promise; we may soon be able to cure many of the genetically determined diseases and predispositions to disease. We may even be able to improve upon Mother Nature. The question is to whether humankind has the wisdom to utilize this knowledge for good without violating moral rules. Only time will tell. Genetic screening will allow ¬†parents to know whether their offspring will be afflicted with disease, but in some cases this does nothing more than begin the misery sooner. Prenatal genetic testing will give parents the choice to terminate pregnancies that will lead to defective infants. Genetic testing may also justify discrimination in the minds of many. Eugenics as a state of policy is unlikely and will make such proposals. The human genome project will rank among humankind’s greatest achievements once it is completed, and by itself presents no real moral difficulty; but the applications of the knowledge may be more than human wisdom can handle. Recombinant DNA maybe the most dangerous as it puts us in the position of creators of whole species that may or may not coexist with humanity and the rest of natural world. In spite of dangers, we will proceed, as we should. We may not turn away from the pursuit of knowledge even if some would misuse it.

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