The Commited MAY 2015 - Page 71

TED DENİZLİ COLLEGE / 9-B A Big Decision Asena ERGÜL According to John Berger, “Without ethics, man has no future. That means, human without them cannot be itself. Ethics determine choices and actions and suggest difficult priorities”. He means that; in this world is there a right and a wrong way of doing something? In this world, ethics determines our actions and the consequences that come about those actions, and it determines the right and the wrong. Therefore, the question is that what is right and what is wrong? There are lots of topics argued on this area and one of them is the question that should we edit our children’s genomes? On November 25, 2018, geneticist He Jiankui of China’s Southern University of Science and Technology announced that his lab had successfully used the Crispr-Cas9 geneediting system babies. They argue that it could potentially decrease, or even eliminate, the incidence of many serious genetic diseases, reducing human suffering worldwide. In that case the question is that Is it ethical to edit the genomes of children? Is this right or wrong? The birth of a child with genetic disease is generally an unexpected event. The parents of these children typically won’t have any idea about what to do in this kind of situation so it will be a hard and suffering process for both the parents and the child. And may be the child will have to live with that illness throughout his/her life. What if you were in their shoes? If you would have a chance to change this situation, to prevent that illness, would you think just a minute to take the action? With the help of the developing technology you will have the chance to learn the possible illnesses and genetic problems of your unborn baby and so it means that you will have a chance to change your and your child’s whole life. When you look at the issue through the eyes of parents this is a great chance and a miracle. On the other hand, opponents say that modifying human embryos is dangerous and unnatural, and does not consider the approval of future generations. The scientists say that; we are still debating the number of genes in the human genome and certainly do not know what all of the genes do. Even if we did, the unpredictability in the mechanism of genetic crossover between parental genomes makes any realistic control or prediction of the majority of traits impossible. This is likely to have social consequences, as well as biological ones. To sum up, there are arguments that modifying genomes is inherently dangerous because we can’t know all the ways it will affect the individual. But those who think the gene editing is risky don’t consider the inherent dangers in the “natural” way we reproduce. Needless to say, families and scientists should think carefully, based on the best available combination of researches, argument and evidences about how their decisions will affect future generations.