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Genetics in everyday life

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Genetics plays a great part in every day life these days. From solving crimes to determining the desirable properties of livestock and crops - science has made many advances. These days biotechnology enables us to have more control than was previously though possible. What do you think - should we be able to control the characteristics of future offspring?

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This is a medical ethics question and the answer depends on your own value system. I cannot assume what yours is but there are several fundamental questions along with related scenarios that you need to consider in your answer. I will list as many of these as I can and give you real-life personal examples to get you thinking about this.

1. Is it the business of humans to create other humans in their own desired images? As a physician, I know we do this already since we treat people so that they become disease-free or, importantly, in the image of a non-diseased individual. Pre-natal genetic manipulation could be considered an extension of that ...

Solution Summary

There are no "correct" answers to ethical questions. In bioethics, your answer to questions about genetic manipulation, biotechnology, and genetic treatments will depend on your own value system and life experiences. One good exercise in medicine is to put yourself in the patient's shoes and ask how you would like to be treated. This solution uses two such hypothetical constructs: Alzheimer's Dementia and Down Syndrome.

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