This essay is for The Importance of Further Discoveries in Human Genetics Modification is huge breakthrough in medicine

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The Importance of Further Discoveries in Human Genetics Modification

Human genetics modification is a huge breakthrough in medicine because it has led to wide range possibilities of bettering the lives of people.  The importance of human modification through genetic engineering cannot be overemphasized. However, there are certain ethical principles that have been used to question this groundbreaking feat one of which is the Christian worldview. Some of the means in which certain parts of human genetics modification is actualized has been seen to be against God and morality. Thus, the reason why this worldview is against those means is that humans are playing God and sinning against him. Paul Ramsey argues that ?men ought not to play God before they learn to be men, and men, after they have learned to be men they will not play God.?( qtd. in Deane-Drummond 29).  But if saving lives and making life better through human genetics engineering is the only crime of these scientists, does it not sound to reason that God will certainly be proud of his creation who are completing the work he has started? The advantages of this endeavor trump the ethical issues raised by this worldview.  Therefore, scientists can continue on that path to any length deemed fit to better human lives. Seeing the importance of human genetics modification, this paper argues that scientists can go as far as possible in the path to better lives irrespective of the ethical challenges involved especially in the area of reproductive health, elimination of diseases and increment of the life span of humans.

Human genetic engineering helps in the improvement of the reproductive health of humans especially those with fertility problems as well as assisting in reproduction.  David Degrazi has noted that the most developed and important area of science in recent times is in the area of ?assisted reproduction.? (96). Assisted reproduction has helped to wipe away tears from the eyes of many parents with fertility problems or health issues who desire to have their own progeny on earth. Human genetics engineering has also made it possible that in medicine parents can now include desirable DNA in their unborn children or eliminate undesirable ones.  Spencer Stober and Donna Yari have seen this relation as they have agreed that this innovation helps parents to have the power and control to either choose or eliminate the desired or undesirable traits in their unborn children (75). Degrazi also agrees as he states thus, “with reprogenetics, we have the potential to create human beings with particular desired traits or without certain undesired traits?that is, to create certain kinds of human beings.? (96)  Scientists are also pushing for a better breakthrough in the area of freezing eggs.  This will enable women that will like to pause childbirth in the meantime and reproduce in future to do so.  Degrazi  pointed out that when the obstruction in the development of this area is eliminated, ?many women might be interested in freezing a supply of viable eggs? and then thawing and using them for IVF after recovering from an illness, getting tenure, or finding partners with whom they want to raise children.? (99)

Furthermore, human genetics engineering can also help in the elimination of diseases in the world by dealing with it right at conception especially when they are hereditary. In the area of embryo selection, parents can now select any embryo that doesn?t have that trait. For instance, parents that are AS carriers will have the ability to eliminate the embryo with the sickle cell anemia thereby saving the child and the parents from the harrowing experience of constant crisis in future.  Stober and Yari posits that:

This procedure is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and is frequently used to determine the presence of deleterious alleles. For example, Huntington chorea is a form of dementia caused by an autosomal dominant allele in late adulthood. If one member of a couple tests positive for the presence of this allele, then the chances of their having a child that will develop Huntington disease later in life is 50 percent. PGD would enable the couple to select one of their embryos that did not carry the Huntington disease allele.?(83)

In addition, the elimination of diseases by the help of genetic engineering will consequently lead to longevity in the life span of humans. When all disorders are eliminated through embryo selection, it will make it possible that only healthy humans will be born on earth. John C. Avise notes that ?medical diagnostic procedures often emerge as practical and valuable by-products of molecular investigations into the genetic bases of human hereditary disorders.? (172). Also, gene alterations has been discovered to increase the lifespan of certain organisms which can as well be extended to humans (Holzenborg, Dupont,Ducos et.al. qtd. in Robertson 646) 

Contrastively, one of the opposing arguments against human genetics modification is on the basis of its moral acceptability— humans playing God and sinning against God in some cases. For the former, Ted Peters calls this kind of sentiment ?the acerbic rhetoric? which he says its aim is to shut down certain ?scientific research and medical therapy? (qtd. in Deane-Drummond 30). If indeed we were created by God in his image, we are also gods by right to alter or create things with the natural intelligence given to us.  As Stober and Yarri have rightly noted, ?in fact, one could argue that if humans are created in the image of God, part of which means that we have been endowed with reason and intelligence, then when doctors or other medical professionals develop cures and help sick individuals, they are doing God?s work by helping the sick through medical interventions developed by humans.? (87). For the latter argument on morality, sperm for IVF is gotten through masturbation which is seen as a sin against God and the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But then according to Stober and Yarri, the church recognizes two purposes of sex in marriage and it includes expressing love to and to procreate while anything outside it is frowned at.  However, the church is ?supportive of any medical procedures that would assist the couple with having children as long as it does not violate this dual purpose of marriage.? (81). Therefore, the argument against human genetics modification being a sin against God has been defeated.

The end, they say, justifies the means so far the end is for the common good.  Imagine a world where terminal illnesses will no longer hold sway in our lives, a world where people can live long to realize their full potentials, a world where everyone will be fulfilled health wise. This can be made possible through human modification engineering.  It is a very important breakthrough in science that should be encouraged to go further in finding solutions to problems humans are bedeviled with irrespective of the disadvantages and the opposing argument it has generated in the area of reproductive health, elimination of diseases and increment of the life span of humans. By so doing, humans must have utilized their full potentials of being the only created beings in the image and likeness of God.

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