June 3, 2010 · 1 comment
Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH
During my recent studies for an ethics certificate, I encountered several ethical issues that stimulated my thinking about the future of healthcare.
I would like to address an ethical issue that I feel will dominate the healthcare landscape for the next several decades, in the area of genetics.
With the completion of the Human Genome Project and the mapping of mankind’s blueprint of life, we are beginning to gain a greater understanding of what makes us human. One logical extension of this “knowledge of life” is the ability to control or manipulate life itself. Gene therapy will give us the ability to not only modify our genetic predisposition to diseases, but also to enhance lifestyle abilities. No one would argue the ability to change one base-pair and eliminate Huntington’s disease from an unborn child, but how far is one willing to go to be taller, more athletic, have a gift of music, or become a genius. Who will decide what genetic alterations are acceptable to a society? And who will qualify to have such manipulations—only those that can afford to pay?
The ability to manipulate our genome is the ability to control human evolution itself. No more will we need to rely on random chance and Darwinian principles, such as natural selection–we will be able ... read more »