The problem related to the invention of editing the human germline gene is that it interferes with the original gene orientation. The ethical issue discussed in this journal is tampering with the human genes and the traits expected to be carried forward on to other future generations. Though the invention involves the use of “Crispr” a gene editing tool that is fast, easy to use, accurate, and of a low cost, it is considered an ethical dilemma relating to an evident case of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which was later discovered to be carcinogenic and accumulate in crops too (Ormond, 2017). This became a hazard to both the plants, that is environment and to human beings who feed on the animals that feed on plants containing the PCBs.
Evident facts that make this invention an ethical dilemma was proven by a troop of Chinese scientists, who announced that the invention using Crispr to edit genes was held responsible for a disease that was inherited (Ormond, 2017). The technology is thus believed to foster carrying forward of diseases that would rather have ended with one generation. Since the discovery by the Chinese, a series of research studies have also been done by the US.
The individual most affected by this case is the future generations that will come after the implementation of this program. This is because during that time they will probably be discovering awkward traits and gene formations that have never existed in human nature before. The altered genes will equally result in new diseases and growths that will make life unnecessarily difficult. It is at this time that the fathers to this invention who are the key shareholders now will be nowhere to be seen. The relevant ethical values to be considered in this case include integrity, respect, excellence, and responsibility. The inventing team should strive to excel by researching enough to offer harmless products while holding their integrity by telling full facts to the people. They should also be ready to be held responsible in case anything negative is noticed in their research and implementation.
In trying to solve this ethical problem, many countries have put a ban on embryo editing that aims at better reproduction. Others like the UK have clear licensing procedures to help govern that while countries such as China and the United States have no governing laws to prevent it. The ideal thing to do according to Regenberg would be to have some sort of international agreement that governs the implementation of such new inventions.
To the countries that chose to ban the technology, they are likely to face the implication of killing the spirit of innovation and invention, which would in turn chase away investors and funders from the country. To China and the U.S, since they have no governing laws, the invention may take a dangerous course with new genes being developed carelessly. The U.K is better placed having regulatory procedures because the invention can at least be controlled. This puts the country in a better position as it encourages research while regulating the result, therefore, stakeholders are not affected in a negative way.
The best option therefore in this regard is to have set laws that regulate the implementation of the inventions. This will in turn encourage the spirit of research and also regulate the dangers of unconfirmed researches being implemented.
To avoid similar problems recurring in future, it will be relevant to have countries sit and develop general laws that govern research, testing, and implementation. This would ensure elimination of substandard research results and influencing people who do not understand the research from implementing it.
Ormond, K. E., Mortlock, D. P., Scholes, D. T., Bombard, Y., Brody, L. C., Faucett, W. A., & Musunuru, K. (2017). Human germline genome editing. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 101(2), 167-176.