The Moral Obligations and impermissibility of Gene Editing
Back in 2015 a study involving experiments on human embryos by use of the means of gene editing was published, adding to the evidence that genome editing could lead to cures of diseases once thought to be death sentences to many. However it also adds to evidence that genome editing could mean that it would be possible to cherry pick genes and traits of children before birth. So prominent scientific journals called for a moratorium on further research and asks us the public to debate the moral and philosophical questions that arise from the potential of genome editing. In this essay I intend to explore just that by stating how when it comes to genome editing there is no moral permissibility whatsoever and that there are only moral obligations and impermissibility.
To say that something is morally permissible is to say that something is permitted and that there aren’t any consequences for what is being done and that in general it is morally insignificant. Yet when it comes to gene editing it is quite the opposite as it means scientists would be changing the DNA of a person, the unique and specific chemical structure that makes a person that person. DNA is also then passed on to children which would mean that a person’s altered DNA could then be passed on for the generations to come. It should be clear now that gene editing should be highly restricted by governing bodies as the slightest error could be disastrous for humanity as whole. These governing bodies should be made aware of why, how and the intent of a scientist’s research and should then be approved. This research should then be done thoroughly and meticulously before any attempt to edit the DNA of a human should be considered. To end on why gene editing is never morally permissible one just has to ask why two prestigious scientific institutions are asking for a moratorium and debate in the first place if it were ever thought to be insignificant.
Now although gene editing should be heavily restricted it should however be a moral obligation to fully explore all therapeutic applications of gene editing. This wo...