The moral implications of genetic engineering essay

Patra S, Andrew AA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Visit for more related articles at Journal of Biomedical Sciences Abstract Genetic engineering can simply be explained as the alteration of an organism's genetic, or hereditarymaterial to eliminate undesirable characteristics or to produce desirable new ones. Several works have been done on genetic engineering with major focus on its importance ranging from increasing plant and animal food production, diagnosing disease condition, medical treatment improvement, as well as production of vaccines and other useful drugs.

The moral implications of genetic engineering essay

Autonomy Ethical Analysis Autonomy can be defined as self-determination, self-rule, or self-governance. Autonomous agents or actions presuppose some capacity of reasoning, deciding, and willing. Moral, social, and legal norms establish obligations to respect autonomous agents and their choices.

Respect for personal autonomy implies that agents have the right or power to be self-governing and self-directing, without outside control. In the context of genetic testing and screening, respect for autonomy refers to the right of persons to make an informed, independent judgment about whether they wish to be tested and then whether they wish to know the details of the outcome of the testing.

Autonomy is also the right of the individual to control his or her destiny, with or without reliance on genetic information, and to avoid interference by others with important life decisions, whether these are based on genetic information or other factors.

Respect for autonomy also implies the right of persons to control the future use of genetic material submitted for analysis for a specific purpose including when the genetic material itself and the information derived from that material may be stored for future analysis, such as in a DNA bank or registry file.

Even though respect for autonomy is centrally important in our society, it is not absolute. It can be overridden in some circumstances, for example, to prevent serious harm to others, as is the case in mandatory newborn screening for phenylketonuria PKU and hypothyroidism.

In particular, cases have held that competent adults have the right to choose whether or not to undergo medical interventions. Implications for Health and Social Policy. The National Academies Press.

A report from the Office of Technology Assessment similarly The moral implications of genetic engineering essay the importance of knowledge and consent: The consent of the patient is required to remove blood or tissue from his or her body, and also to perform tests, but it is important that the patient be informed of all the tests which are done and that a concern for the privacy of the patient extends to the control of tissues removed from his or her body.

They have privacy if they are left alone and do not suffer unauthorized intrusion by others. Once persons undergo genetic tests, privacy includes the right to make an informed, independent decision about whether—and which—others may know details of their genome e.

Various justifications have been offered for rules of privacy. First, some philosophers argue that privacy rights are merely shorthand expressions for a cluster of personal and property rights, each of which can be explicated without any reference to the concept of privacy.

In making this argument, Judith Jarvis Thomson holds that privacy rights simply reflect personal and property rights, such as the rights not to be looked at, not to be overheard, and not to be caused distress.

Being able to control access to themselves enables people to have various kinds of relationships with different people, rather than being equally accessible to all others. A third approach finds the basis for rights to privacy in respect for personal autonomy.

Decisional privacy is often very close to personal autonomy. The language of personal autonomy reflects the idea of a domain or territory of self-rule, and thus overlaps with zones of decisional privacy.

Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: However, their scope is not unlimited, and they do not always override all other competing interests, such as the interests of others. Legal Issues In the legal sphere, the principle of privacy is an umbrella concept encompassing issues of both autonomy and confidentiality.

Constitution, as well as state constitutions. This includes a right to make certain reproductive choices, 13 such as whether to use genetic testing.

An entirely different standard of privacy protects personal information. A few court decisions find protection for such information under the constitutional doctrine of privacy, 15 but more commonly, privacy protection against disclosure of personal information is found under common law tort principles.


Confidentiality Ethical Analysis Confidentiality as a principle implies that some body of information is sensitive, and hence, access to it must be controlled and limited to parties authorized to have such access.

The information provided within the relationship is given in confidence, with the expectation that it will not be disclosed to others or will be disclosed to others only within limits.

The state or condition of nondisclosure or limited disclosure may be protected by moral, social, or legal principles and rules, which can be expressed in terms of rights or obligations.

In health care and various other relationships, we grant others access to our bodies. They may touch, observe, listen, palpate, and even physically invade.

They may examine our bodies as a whole or in parts; and parts, such as tissue, may be removed for further study, as in some forms of testing. Privacy is necessarily diminished when others have such access to us; rules of confidentiality authorize us to control and thus to limit further access to the information generated in that relationship.

Rules of confidentiality appear in virtually every code or set of regulations for health care relationships. Their presence is not surprising, because such rules are often justified on the basis of their instrumental value: Hence, rules of confidentiality are indispensable for patient and social welfare; without those rules, people who need medical, psychiatric, or other treatment will refrain from seeking or fully participating in it.

Another justification for rules of confidentiality is based on the principles of respect for autonomy and privacy, above.

The moral implications of genetic engineering essay

Respecting persons involves respecting their zone of privacy and accepting their decisions to control access to information about them. When people grant health care professionals access to them, they should retain the right to determine who else has access to the information generated in that relationship.

Hence, the arguments for respect for autonomy and privacy support rules of confidentiality. Finally, duties of confidentiality often derive from explicit or implicit promises in the relationship.Genetic engineering can be divided into several sub-categories, such as genetically modified grops, stem cell research, and genetic testing.

Any utilitarian thinker is likely to approve of any form of genetic engineering. Essay UK offers professional custom essay writing, dissertation writing and coursework writing service.

Our work is high quality, plagiarism-free and delivered on time. Essay UK is a trading name of Student Academic Services Limited, a company registered in England .

So asking if genetic engineering is morally right or wrong is the wrong question to ask.

The moral implications of genetic engineering essay

Instead we should ask if genetic engineering is being conducted in a careful and responsible way so as not to harm the environment or us. This theology speaks to the moral consequences that this science feeds into.

The entire concept nurtures the pride. Genetic screening will probably present a similar scenario. Fear will be present in the beginning, but as time passes people will begin to accept genetic screening as a norm and will see it as a benefit to society, even if some of the effects of it are negative.

Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering ‘Genetic engineering’ is the process to alter the structure and nature of genes in human beings, animals or foods using . The ethical issues with reproductive cloning include genetic damage to the clone, health risks to the mother, very low success rate meaning loss of large numbers of embryos and fetuses, psychological harm to the clone, complex altered familial relationships, and commodification of human life.

genetic engineering | Ethical Issues in Health Care