The Ethical Implications of CRISPR/Cas Technology


The Ethical Implications of CRISPR/Cas Technology
Sabrina Sam
Exit Requirement
Honors Thesis
Date of Award
15 June 2023
Honors Program Director
Gavin Keulks
Faculty Advisor
Patricia Flatt
A fairly new and prevalent medical treatment is known as CRISPR/Cas, which utilizes enzymes to edit genes within a patient to help alleviate symptoms of a disease, or even cure it. These new ways of treatment are viewed as less harmful in the long run because there are fewer risks compared to traditional treatments of genetic larger diseases. However, the ethics behind this treatment are divided. Many believe there should be no gene-editing human intervention when it comes to treating diseases; others think it is a viable option for those who truly need it. In addition this technology is currently very expensive. This gives rise to ethical questions about the equity of its use and the fair access of this technique to all socioeconomic groups within our society. Furthermore, there are other potential unethical uses of this technology such as for personal enhancement or for the creation of designer babies (i.e. picking and choosing which features will appear in offspring) that have ethical implications.
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