Is genetic enhancement an unacceptable use of technology?

Cheryl Asaro

When I first read the topic, “Is genetic enhancement an unacceptable use of technology?” my first

thought was yes it is very unacceptable. After reading the arguments I still believe that yes this is

unacceptable. Although my faith and beliefs may come into play with this, I still believe I would think

this to be wrong. I love all of my children, they are all different. I wanted a daughter and then a son, my

second child was another daughter, I do not know what I would do without her. I thought about this, if

I had been able to choose would I have chosen a son and then no more children? It is an awful thought,

one of my children is very artistic, two are very athletic, this was by teaching them and I wouldn’t want

them to be any different than they are.

The Major Thesis:

Political Philosopher, Michael J. Sandel explains his belief that genetic technology is a “flawed attempt

at human mastery”. He also explains it also “banishes appreciation of life as a gift”.

Three Facts:

If genetic enhancement is used we can treat and/or prevent diseases although we will be manipulating


With genetic enhancement we could stop muscular dystrophy . We could choose the sex of our

children, we could change their height and improve their memory.

H.L. Sweeney is hoping he can cure the mobility issues the elderly have. Through his research even

though it has not been approved for human use, many athletes are interested in it.


One opinion was the concern for rich and the poor, these enhancement treatments are very expensive so

some won’t be able to afford it.

Sandel argues that genetic enhancement is morally wrong.

Whatever one’s presumed character or bodily flaw, there is a remedy.

Is the scenario troubling because the unenhanced poor would be denied the benefits of bioengineering

or because the enhanced affluent would somehow be dehumanized?


One technique was playing on possibly religious beliefs by saying genetic enhancement is morally

wrong. “Worrying about access ignores the moral status of enhancement itself”.

Another technique was making people afraid that because of their social class the poor would have

limited availability of genetic enhancement.


Genetic enhancements will cause some parents to get carried away with making sure their children are

the smartest, tallest, the best athlete or the best musician.

Genetic enhancements will change people to rely on genetics instead of trying to succeed in life on

their own.

The Main Thesis:

Howard Trachtmans article stated that we should not be afraid of genetic enhancement. The medical

society should be excited to inspire health and wellness.

Three Facts:

In the early 1970’s immunizations became routine.

Neonatal care will result in higher statistics of survival of babies born with low birth weights.

There may be a longer life span which would cause more cases of cancer and dementia.


Trachtman expressed his belief that physicians maintain unrealistic views that therapeutic interventions

could result from genetic advancements. Trachtman also believes that if genetic enhancement becomes

widely available the majority of people will not want it.

Physicians and bioethecists should have unrealistic views and apprehensions about therapeutic

interventions that may come about because of advances in genetics. Trachtmam alleges every human

endeavor goes through a time of anticipation that the end is near.


Trachtman brings up different points in history where science has made things better.


Trachtman claims that if people live longer there will be more cancer and dementia. Although an

improvement in neonatal would result in higher percentage of babies surviving that had low birth


Final Stand:


I believe Michael Sandel is more biased with his morality issues. Even though I felt he was biased I

agree with his argument. A lot of people believe our children have to be perfect, I do not believe that.

I do not think we should use genetic enhancements to alter human growth, for athletic or mental

abilities. As far as engineering the sex of a child is just wrong. We should be happy with any child we

get no matter their sex or abilities.


I think Michael Sandels “yes” theory was more empirical with examples he gave of morals and how

parents would act.

My reflection:

I side with Michael Sandel, I believe we need to create our children without genetic engineering. We

need technology for somethings but to create a more “perfect” child is just not appropriate. I believe

we should be happy and blessed with the children we get without genetic enhancement.


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