human germline genetic modification

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gw07mcgheerachel
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#1
Unsure how to answer the following question, if I should mention techniques or ethics etc

“Scientists should be permitted to undertake attempts at human germline genetic modification (HGGM) using current technology.” Critically discuss this contention.
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USI_15
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#2
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Hello, I think this question is more focused on the ethical side of things than on the technical? Since it asks if germline modifications 'should' be permitted, and asks you to discuss the 'contention', which emphasises more on the debate and ethics surrounding germline modification rather than the technical challenges.
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gw07mcgheerachel
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#3
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(Original post by USI_15)
Hello, I think this question is more focused on the ethical side of things than on the technical? Since it asks if germline modifications 'should' be permitted, and asks you to discuss the 'contention', which emphasises more on the debate and ethics surrounding germline modification rather than the technical challenges.
what sort of things should I include in my answer in terms of ethics?
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USI_15
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#4
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#4
So there are a lot of things to consider here. I would probably mention some of the following points:

Cons
- Germline editing is ethically challenging because gene edited babies cannot consent to the procedure
- We don't know much about germline editing of humans and thus germline editing could cause harm to the offspring produced
- It comes dangerously close to eugenics and selective breeding of humans
- There are laws and regulations preventing it and so to allow it would be in contravention of these laws
- Germline editing is likely to be a technology available only to the rich and those with connections - thus it could further add to inequality, by allowing those who are well-off to engineer advantageous traits into their offspring whilst others cannot

Pros:
- it could provide a way to eliminate hereditary diseases from the bloodlines of people that have them
- it could allow for screening of diseases in embryos, which some parents may want to have as an option
- it could allow for engineering of advantageous traits such as disease resistance and greater strength into humanity

There's probably more to these arguments and some other arguments you can find online, I encourage you to read around the subject and to see if you can better get to grips with the arguments around germline editing.
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gw07mcgheerachel
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#5
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“Scientists should be permitted to undertake attempts at human germline genetic modification (HGGM) using current technology.” Critically discuss this contention.


I'm unsure how to answer a question like this, is the answer looking more at the ethical side of things?
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Napp
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#6
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entirely related to the ethics imo. You should include a small bit on the technological barriers/opportunities but, depending on essay length, id focus mainly on the ethical dilemmas involved in (whatever this thing is)
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