Gene Therapy 2
Debate Rounds (5)
Ethical Question: After thorough research, should gene therapy be an ethical form of medicine?
Gene therapy is the modification or altering of genes for a patient that has a genetic disorder causing disease.
1. It can cure a wide variety of diseases many of which have no treatment or cure. When the technology and research for gene therapy becomes more advanced, it has the potential to cure, and eventually eliminate the disease before it is a problem. When the technology and research for gene therapy becomes more advanced, it has the potential to cure, and eventually eliminate the disease before it is a problem by correcting the disease while in the womb and for the rest of the patients life.
· Examples of Diseases - Cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Hemophilia, Color blindness and some forms of blindness, Parkinson Disease, Immunodeficiency, Diabetes and many more.
· Examples of Cases - There have been multiple experiments with Leber's Congenital Amaurocis which causes blindness from birth. Over 50 patients have been tested and the year following treatment their vision has improved.
2. Gene Therapy strengthens the body’s immune system or faults by correcting the mutations in the body. Rather than use chemicals and toxins that the body may have adverse reactions to alleviate problems. In addition, this could also concern many oral medicines which are not good to take for long periods of time because people would not need the medicine if they used gene therapy.
· Many diseases like Cancer require chemical toxins to rid the body of the cancer or disease. Using gene therapy, these types of treatment will become a thing of the past because gene therapy will strengthen the body and alter the malfunction causing the disease.
· Many people who go through these chemical treatments become so weak it is not actually the disease killing them but the treatment.
· Many who go through chemo more than once in a life end up being killed by the treatment making their body too weak to function.
3. Medicine of the Future: Gene therapy could eliminate future medicine. Most medicines now cannot cure the disease but simply alleviate some of the problems. Other diseases like Diabetes. Not all diseases or sicknesses can be cured by gene therapy but a large number can. On top of it there are many diseases that have no cure that can be treated with gene therapy. Medicines for many of these diseases would no longer be necessary saving money and time and healing in non-chemical way.
· For example, cystic fibrosis is a disease that cannot be cured but with gene therapy, with a few treatments it can be cured and then patients can go on living their life without the troubles of medicines.
4. Personalized Care: Unlike with current medicines where pills are dispensing, gene therapy is a very personalized process. It’s design is to cure your exact problem and the source where as many medicines like said before cannot do this they simply alleviate the problem. Not only does current medicine work less efficiently but it is designed for a large scale amount of people with the disease(The whole population). Each patient is treated for their own problem with the disease not just the disease as a population
· Diabetes type 1 it is necessary to take insulin because the body won’t make it because a gene is mutated, and with current medicine hundreds of thousands of people take essentially the same medicine to fix the problem. Many people will have adverse reactions or side effects, also many people won’t be able to take the medicine. With gene therapy, each person receives the gene therapy to cure the mutated gene but because every gene is different, the care is very personalized so that this person will not have to take the insulin shots anymore but produce it themselves
With gene therapy, a personalize care, each patient is looked at individually with exactly what is wrong in their genome and then the problem can be fixed not just alleviated. The care is completely personal because it needs to be in order for it to work.
· Problems with integrating therapeutic DNA into the genome and the rapidly dividing nature of many cells prevent gene therapy from achieving any long-term benefits. Patients will have to undergo multiple rounds of gene therapy. This will cause more pain and money for the patients. Because Gene therapy is still in the research process the therapy can never be 100%.
The body's immune system may destroy the vector as it may perceive the carrier as a foreign body. Gene therapy may cause the body more harm in the long wrong because the body may go through unnatural phases after it rejects the gene.
There is no guarantee that the viral enzyme that is responsible for this step will be able to introduce the correct gene at the specific point in the host chromosome. Once again gene Therapy is still in the trial stage therefore the patient can never know if the gene will be correctly placed. Therefore mutations could occur
Only available to the rich, this therapy triggers the fear of eugenics - a term that denotes creation of a superior race.
Parents can use Gene Therapy to choose what their children look like. What will the world come to when parents can create their own super children? Humans quality of uniqueness will be lost.
· Gene therapy like any other form of medicine is not a permanent solution. It is true that a patient would have to receive more than one treatment but these treatments would be about a year apart and with more research only get furthur apart. This situation is much better than current medicine. The treatments cause no pain they simply maintain the genetic state (keep the person from relapsing) even the first treatment causes no pain. Most medicines a person also needs to go get more than one treatment, (ex. pills- every day, chemo- multiple cycles, surgery- if complicated need more than one).
· Gene therapy is currently not well researched. It is still undergoing many case studies and trials, if these cases lead to failure of the body accepting the gene it would not be possible to make gene therapy legal. All medicine goes through a trial phase and has failures we would like gene therapy to be treated the same as other forms of medicine in the research stage. With current research this problem is lowered everyday so it is expected that failures would be minimal after further research.
· So far this has not been a problem; there have been multiple experiments with Leber’s Congenital Amaurocis which causes blindness from birth because of a gene failure. Many patients have been tested and the chromosome accepted the gene and vision improved in every patient. Could you imagine being blind and seeing for the first time? Gene therapy provides the potential to cure so many incurable diseases. It is the medicine of the future.
· It is still in trial phases so the true cost is unavailable and cannot be estimated. Therefore it is unknown whether it is expensive or not, and not only available to the rich. Even heart surgery costs hundreds of thousands and it is still available to the poor.
· We are not debating gene therapy for this use. The ethical question in place is whether or not after thorough research should gene therapy be an ethical from of medicine. The only time it would be used on wombs or babies would be to cure a disease.
1) Yes Gene Therapy can cure many diseases, but in the future. As of now there’s no 100% guarantee that Gene Therapy is affective. Therefore Gene therapy cannot cure diseases. Patients need to be guaranteed an effective treatment, not a guess and test, and Gene Therapy is a guess and test treatment.
2) The immune system could easily reject the Gene, so the mutation would not be corrected, so the patient will be in worst condition than before.
3) How can you or anyone predict the future? Exactly no one can, so predicting that future medicines will be eliminated is ludacris. What if after more research scientist discover that gene therapy is ineffective? Then what will we rely on, the medicine we have today that we know works.
4) Because Gene Therapy is personalized it will lead to better treatment for the rich because only the can afford it. Athletes will use it to increase their performance level, and parents will use it to hybrid their on population of children.
· There have been case studies with diseases like diabetes type 1, Leber’s congental amaurocis, cancer, and color blindness and in each study it has shown improvement of the diseases. These diseases have no true cure but in the case studies patients symptoms were vastly lowered and essentially the disease was cured. This treatment type is shown so far very successful. It still needs to be researched further but the success shown in current research gives hope that it will be a form of medicine in the near future because of its vast healing capabilities.
· We have already addressed this issue see bullet 2 round 2. It has shown little rejection and if it were to increase clearly we would not make it legal to the general public.
· Gene therapy has already shown that it can eliminate disease by curing the disease at the source. The way gene therapy works is by eliminating the mutated gene causing disease so it is eliminating the disease. In the future, with further research, it can be possible to go even farther and eliminate the disease carriers in the population which would eliminate the disease as a whole. We are very far from that situation but it still does eliminate the disease on a person by person basis and contnains the potential to make the disease non existant.
· Also said before in bullet 4 round 2, the cost is not decided and cannot be estimated. Even if it were expensive, like said before many treatments are expensive like heart surgery and many non rich people recieve that treatment. Again, athletic performance, and parents hybrid children is not in the ethical question and we will not address it.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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