RE: Eugenics and Human Genetics (Patricia Wallace)
In your post on the matter of eugenics, you provided the difference between positive and negative genetic engineering while giving the potential benefits of each. Further, you presented several ethical questions especially in regard to positive genetic engineering. I totally agree with you that seeking to enhance the human species as we know it today could present certain ethical challenges. For instance, if one tries to develop a ‘super race’ with advanced abilities, will this lead to a system where some human beings are considered to be inferior or of a lesser stock to others? If that becomes the case, what would be the sociological ramifications of such dichotomy? Negative genetic engineering practices such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis in cases of in vitro fertilization have also raised ethical questions (Hix, 2009). This practice allows couples to select the healthiest embryo, thereby presenting a scenario of ‘playing God.’ Besides, Hix (2009) also questions the ethical justification for discarding embryos with conditions that can be medically managed.
Hix, L. (2009, July 23). Modern Eugenics: Building a Better Person? Retrieved September 27, 2015, from Helix: https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/modern-eugenics-building-better-person
RE: Eugenics and Human Genetics (Padcharee Duggan)
You raised the issue of leveraging modern technology to bioengineer human body organs. Is this with a view to mass produce such organs? What safeguards would be put in place to ensure the safety of such organs to the recipient? It should also be noted that there are limitations to producing organs using 3D technology. A key limitation is that organs cannot exceed 2 inches in thickness (Yao, n.d.). Any thickness beyond this threshold would present nutrient supply challenges that would require extra blood vessels. So while your idea of using 3D printing technology is worth looking into, more research needs to be undertaken to establish its feasibility in the long term. Further, the ethical issues involved need to be deeply considered before a decision can be made in that direction.