Although technology is important and has created many opportunities for people, it has also created many social and ethical issues. Many examples are illustrating how societal ethic norms have been affected by technology. One is assisted procreation. During in vitro fertilization, it is possible to identify the characteristics of embryos, such as the genetic diseases of which they are carriers. For some, this technology is beneficial since children will be prevented from carrying a genetic disease. On the other hand, others see it as a form of eugenics: it is a question of deciding who is worthy of living and who is not (Vergallo et al., 367). Does this mean that people with this disease should not have lived? This technology brings into play values and principles: the sanctity of life, equality, respect for the person, human health, and parental autonomy among others.
Another example is that of geoengineering. Geoengineering deals with the manipulation of the earth's climate to counter the effects of global warming. For example, sending billions of small screens into space more than a million kilometers away, some believe, would deflect some of the sun's rays, like an umbrella. Geoengineering raises ethical questions: for example, one wonders who would have the legitimacy to intervene on the climate on a terrestrial scale. Different values come into play: democratic legitimacy, equity, social acceptability, social responsibility, environmental protection, and solidarity with future generations, among others.
Another example is the unconventional use of drugs. Beta-blockers are used in the treatment of heart problems to control blood pressure. However, musicians consume it before the performances to counter the effects of stage fright. Other drugs, such as psychotropic drugs, are also used for unconventional purposes: to optimize performance at work or in sports, improve mental capacities, increase resistance to fatigue, "stay young", and manage personal situations difficult (Kaufman et al., 58). These uses have positive consequences, but they also pose important questions. How acceptable is it to use the medication without being sick to meet social expectations, at the risk of jeopardizing one's health? This practice brings into play several values: authenticity, self-realization, respect for the person, freedom of choice, and human health.
Jiankui’s genetic engineering of the twins was not only unethical but also immoral since he illegally carried out the genetic manipulation of embryos for reproductive purposes. He should only have conducted genetic editing on embryos discarded during the in vitro reproduction process - provided that the embryo is subsequently destroyed and does not give rise to a baby.
I believe the technology to engineer superior humans should not be used and I would not use it on my children or grandchildren. Genetic editing is not a natural process and can cause 'collateral' mutations, capable of generating genetic problems throughout life, including cancer.
Genetic engineering, especially when it comes to dealing with diseases, is inevitable in the future. Gene editing could, in theory, prevent the transmission of inherited diseases by deleting or modifying problematic gene sets in embryos (Sandler 81). It could also prevent diseases and correct genetic failures in embryos.
The ethical paradigms that would have been considered before uploading the videos are the nature of the video, its content, privacy issues, and people who would watch it. The contents of the video compromised the personal privacy or dignity of those who appeared in them. Such videos cause so much pain to the affected individuals and they would also encourage people with similar intents and this is because the videos glorify the killers. They receive a lot of attention and other killers would crave the same.
The creation of the transgenic monkeys was unethical since although the monkeys had no moral capacity, it was right for them to go through pain. Moreover, six of the eleven monkeys had died and others had developed mental disorders. Transgenic monkeys would also be at a greater risk of exploitation and damage (Bailey 67). Experiments on animals are dangerous since and sometimes animals with severe abnormalities are created. For example, a mouse in which a growth factor receptor gene was silenced was born with skeletal defects and profound deafness. Large numbers of animals are generally required to produce a genetically modified strain of mice, due to the low efficiency of the method. Most of the animals produced do not have the desired genetic modification and these are usually euthanized.
It is not unethical to use the DNA profiles of innocent people if it results in the identification of killers. It could help in solving many unresolved murder cases and arrest killers. It would be morally irresponsible to refuse to provide DNA for profiling especially when there is a murder case involved (Jakovski et al., 276). Despite the benefits of genetic data, the fact that anyone can search these bases for purposes other than those foreseen raises important ethical and legal questions that point to the need to introduce some regulation in the area of genetic genealogy.
Bailey, Jarrod. "Genetic modification of animals: Scientific and ethical issues." Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change, 2019, pp. 443-479. https://animalstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=geneclo
Jakovski, Zlatko, et al. "The power of forensic DNA databases in solving crime cases." Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 6, no. 1, 2017, pp. e275-e276. https://www.fsigeneticssup.com/article/S1875-1768(17)30020-3/pdf
Kaufman, Kenneth R., et al. "Bipolar disorders and comorbid conditions–ethical considerations in sports." Apunts. Medicina de l'Esport, vol. 53, no. 198, 2018, pp. 55-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apunts.2017.10.001
Sandler, Ronald. "The ethics of genetic engineering and gene drives in conservation." Conservation Biology, vol. 34, no. 2, 2020, pp. 378-385. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13407
Vergallo, Gianluca Montanari, et al. "Medically Assisted Procreation: European Legislation and Ensuing Ethical Issues." Pick Up and Oocyte Management. Springer, Cham, 2020, pp. 361-373. https://www.researchgate.net/deref/http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.1007%2F978-3-030-28741-2_22
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