The future of treating disease could be closer than we think. Last April, A Chinese research team was the first to successfully modify a gene in a non-viable human embryo. This type of technology could revolutionize they way doctors treat genetic illness. Things like MS, Alzheimer, or Huntington’s could be cured, but this kind of technology isn’t limited to one purpose. This machine would is also able to change traits and appearances that are passed on through reproduction, which could potentially lead an new breed of Humans
If you ever want to make a politician squirm, this would probably be the topic to spring on them. This is not an easy question for anybody to answer on the spot. On one side you have the medical and economic benefits of being able to cure disease, but on the other , it leaves the possibility for certain genes to become more valuable than others.
This debate is what the modern-age Philosophy student has been waiting for.
“The hesitation [to genetic editing] is making wrong choices, in terms of ‘designer’ or selecting what people perceive as ‘better'” says Dr. Kathleen Hill from Western University. Dr. Hill is an associated professor of bio-ethics, and teaches philosophy students “how to become gate-keepers of the human genome” says Hill.
“We watch were the technology is going…we encourage our students to become gate-keepers. It’s a perfect example of learning critical thinking and learning how to debate” she adds.
Debate times for students are set for later this month