Marina object to preventing the physiologically traumatic

Marina GoldmanMr. ConklinU.S. History II-Period C22 December 2017Always Challenge Gene TamperingGenetic engineering is the process of modifying genes to allow a being to function beyond what is natural using biotechnology. Historically, it was used to fine tune organisms’ genes to better accommodate people’s needs, both for function, such as larger fruit sizes with less seeds, or aesthetic purposes, like breeding show dogs. Human genetic engineering primarily consisted of eliminating “bad genes”, as well as their carrier’s ability to reproduce, so as to better the population’s gene pool. On the surface, genetic engineering appears to be an all-inclusive method to replace debilitating genes with liberating ones. When put into action, however, it creates more problems than it solves. Genetic engineering, promising to perfect people with science, is irresistible, and therefore open to abuse. Moreover, because so little is known about genetic engineering, it bears a host of unintended consequences, such as disfigurement, death, and moral confusion.One could absolutely reap the benefits of genetic engineering, assuming, of course, that they utilize it properly. Once genetic engineering slips out of the hands of medical professionals, whose are bound by the hippocratic oath, and into those entities who work for profit only, there is no stopping anyone from abusing it. According to Newsweek, “Already the first indications of potential abuse are surfacing… No one would object to preventing the physiologically traumatic side effect of hair loss caused by cancer therapy. But the real motivation is to sell the product to the millions of healthy men who are naturally going bald,” (A Cure That May Cost Us Ourselves?). The fact that major companies are flourishing from the exploitation of a medical treatment is immoral and self-centered, but made entirely possible by genetic engineering. Likewise, the fact that such companies are pushing consumers to go to such an extreme as genetic engineering, through guilt-tripping, playing on their insecurities such as the hair loss example, and many more immoral tactics, demonstrates how easily the procedure can get abused. Granted that the procedure goes off without a hitch, the alteration of genes to address a problematic condition would be to the benefit of countless people. However, most could not resist the alteration of genes to address an unattractive condition, and the temptation is hard to resist In an interview with Gary Goldman, he stated, “I would look to the UN to get all countries to set standards and restrictions … so that it’s not abused. It’s very unlikely that it would work, though. Trump in all likelihood would put no restrictions on it and let people do whatever they wanted,” (Gary Goldman interview). Even in just speculating how to keep people from going overboard with genetic engineering, Gary notes that doing so would be a lost cause, specifically referring to the president’s unrestricted implementation. How it is used presently aside, the historical implications of genetic engineering are deplorable. For example, the parallel made between the ambition of genetic engineering to that of the Eugenics Movement is nearly identical. This is epitomized by the following statement from the Atlantic: “…human cloning, enhancement, and the quest for designer children are nothing more than… eugenics.” (the Atlantic) Certainly, if people were not able to restrain themselves in the past, when the ability genetic engineering had was very little, people cannot be expected to control themselves now, when genetic engineering has the capacity to change virtually anything about a person. This being said, such a formidable power as genetic engineering should not be trusted amongst those who cannot use it responsibly; since that does not seem possible, genetic engineering is just an accident waiting to happen.Regarding its usage in the conception of a child, genetic engineering allows parents to pick and chose traits they want their child to have. This in and of itself creates a plethora of controversial problems, best explained by the following statement from Will Genetic Research Lead to Eugenic Policies?: “…the media and the public seem to accept, almost without question, the idea of screening for genetic anomalies that cause disabilities and then using that informations to eliminate certain conditions, by eliminating their carriers before birth, (Will Genetic Research Lead to Eugenic Policies?). Upon being released to the public, genetic engineering’s purpose strays further and further away from its objective use and caters more heavily to satisfying people’s subjective desires. Because the process includes no restrictions or requests that are considered off limits, parents are free to alter any quality that they deem undesirable or bad. No one should have that power, even with the best of intentions it could very well lead to disastrous circumstances. To quote Jeff Goldblum from the movie Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should,” (Jeff Goldblum). This quote is pertinent to the reality of genetic engineering. As genetic engineering started to gain momentum, the boundaries and limits of its powers start to diminish. What began as an alternative for treatment turned into a vanity-based procedure to mold children into their parents’ visions. In an interview with Nancy Friedman, she said, “I don’t think society should stand in the way of someone who is trying to genetically engineer diseases out of their child, no problem, I do think that they should be stopped if it reaches cosmetic,” (Nancy Friedman interview). Regardless of the reason for genetic engineering, be it cosmetic or preventative, is is still a slippery slope. Genetic engineers have opened a door that will cause certain chaos, unrest, and controversy, fueled by man’s innate desire to push boundaries. While never being content is part of being human, so is the aptitude to abuse power.If the potential abuse does not instill concern, the fact that the actual process is unsafe might. Contrary to what most supporters of genetic engineering believe, the procedure in and of itself bears great consequences, especially where health is concerned. Some of the fallout from the procedure includes, but is not limited to, the following list by Infobase Learning: “…genes can end up in the wrong location, either having no effect or interfering with the function of other genes. … it can target altered genes, limiting the effectiveness of the therapy. The immune response can also … cause deadly inflammation,” (Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering: Are biotechnology and genetic engineering positive advances?) There are too many variables and ulterior outcomes in genetic engineering that render the treatment unsafe. The fact that a mishap in genetic engineering can result in death far outweighs any possible benefit it could harbor. Take what happened to Jesse Gelsinger, reported by Infobase Learning, “…Gelsinger had a severe inflammatory response to the virus used to deliver the genes to his cells and died of multiple organ failure,” (Infobase Learning). Such an agonizing and likely side-effect should not be overlooked when participating in an experiment, and even more so if it is a medical procedure. Likewise, it does not make sense for people to rely so heavily on a treatment that could make the situation worse. In another instance, also reported by infobase learning, “Two young boys taking part in a … trial to treat a rare form of SCID developed a leukemia-like illness. The … altered genes had attached themselves to the wrong spot in the boys’ bodies … causing the illness,” (Infobase learning). This is yet another instance of how genetic engineering, which was created to erase unfavorable genes that might cause health issues like this, did the exact opposite and caused people’s wellbeing to decline. Knowing this, genetic engineering should not be heralded as highly as it is.More than any other feature, the morality of genetic engineering is constantly in question. As stated by the Atlantic, “Some who worry about the ethics of genetic engineering point to the danger of creating two classes of human beings: those with access to enhancement technologies, and those who must make do with their natural capacities,” (the Atlantic). Any new, cutting-edge procedure is bound to be very costly. This renders anyone unable to afford that luxury as inferior, isolating and ostracizing anyone not in the upper class for no good reason at all. In an interview with Gary Goldman, he stated, “Genetic engineering, by virtue of creating a have and have not society, would further exacerbate the divisive culture to which we are currently suffering,” (Gary Goldman interview). This perspective highlights the potential future risk of dividing a society which is already at odds. Evidently, the goal of genetic engineering is to instill equity for those who find themselves disabled or diseased. In other words, genetic engineering is used to “level the playing field”, so to speak, and to help people rise above their differences in order to function at a normal, healthy capacity. If anything, genetic engineering is making the metaphorical playing field more uneven, which is not progressive, or moral, in the slightest. Clearly, the potential benefits of genetic engineering should not be overlooked, however must be managed in a way that fair access and ethical treatment is guaranteed. Genetic engineering is not a sound alternative for addressing health issues. It is more likely to challenge different cultures’ moral codes or lead to another Eugenics Movement than it is to relieve someone of their genetic disorders or diseases. Moreover, genetic engineering can cause someone’s health and wellbeing to deteriorate, sometimes resulting in death. Concerning the social, moral, and subjective implications of genetic engineering, it is so controversial and in great need of regulation that it really is not worth the inherent dangers and immorality. Works CitedDadagian, Jackie. Personal Interview. 23 November 2017.Foht, Brendan. “The Case Against Human Gene Editing.” National Review, 4 Dec. 2015,, Nancy. Phone Interview. 25 November 2017. Goldman, Gary. Phone Interview. 23 November 2017.Herring, Mark Youngblood. Genetic Engineering. Greenwood Press, 2006.Hershey, Laura. “Will Genetic Research Lead to Eugenic Policies?” Laura Hershey’s Weekly Web Column, 26 Aug. 1999,, Alex. Personal Interview. 22 November 2017.”Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering: Are biotechnology and genetic engineering positive advances?” Issues & Controversies, Infobase Learning, 15 Sept. 2014, Accessed 11 Dec. 2017.”Life Span Extension: Can and should genetic technology be used to extend the average human life span?” Issues & Controversies, Infobase Learning, 21 July 2006, Accessed 11 Dec. 2017.O’Rourke, James. Phone Interview. 27 November 2017.Sandel, Michael J. “The Case Against Perfection.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 1 Apr. 2004,, Newsweek. “A Cure That May Cost Us Ourselves.” Newsweek, 13 Mar. 2010,, Mark. “Human Genetic Engineering Is a Dangerous Proposal to Combat Climate Change.” Genetic Engineering, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 11 Dec. 2017. Originally published as “Let’s Get Small,” FrontPage Mag, 2 Apr. 2012.Velasquez-manoff, Moises. “The Upside of Bad Genes.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 June 2017,®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=collection.

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