The Instigator
rwoods14
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
cdoemland7
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Gene Therapy

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,178 times Debate No: 14349
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

rwoods14

Pro


Ethical Question: Is gene therapy ethical?

Definition: A method of replacing or manipulating a dysfunctional gene with a functioning one to help treat diseases such as hereditary diseases. This can lead to the cure of cancer, Parkinson's, Hemophilia, ect.

Pro arguments:

·
Cures genetic disorders, hereditary diseases and others deadly illnesses that cannot be treated with any kinds of medications or antibiotics.

· It can wipe out genetic diseases before they can begin and eliminate suffering for future generations

· Good technique for diseases not researched yet

· Give people a chance at a normal life that otherwise would not be able to.
cdoemland7

Con

Ethical Question: Is gene therapy ethical?
Definition: Gene therapy is a method used to fix genes responsible for the development of diseases

The first negative aspect of gene therapy is the excessive and often prohibitive cost of the therapy.
· In order to treat infants with Epidermolysis Bullosa (a rare skin disease that causes intense blistering), the first year alone of gene therapy may cost up to $100,000
· Scientists have also begun developing gene therapy for treatment of the HIV virus
o They estimate that the minimum cost will be $100,000
· The massive cost of these treatments creates a definite advantage for the wealthy. Those who are not as well off will be forced to rely on health insurance or they will have to scrounge up the money themselves. This is in addition to pre-existing medical bills.
· Gene therapy is yet another aspect of the American lifestyle increasing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Another negative aspect of gene therapy is that, for certain types of gene therapy, we run the risk of permanently altering the human gene pool
  • In one type of gene therapy commonly called germ-line therapy, the injection of new genes has a very high risk of altering the person's eggs/sperm.
    • When these reproductive genes are altered, they are passed down to the person's descendants in their altered form.
      • The descendant passes the mutilated genes down to their offspring and so on, and in a few hundred years, their will be no more normal genes in the human gene pool
  • This is not an irregular circumstance. Many scientists and research organizations agree that we do run a large risk based upon their findings in various case studies.
In experimental gene therapy, the mortality rate is very high.
° On September 17th, 1999, Jesse Gelsinger died as a result of an experiment.
° The test was for embryotic stem cell research.
° Within two days of the procedure he suffered from brain damage and organ failure and went into a coma.
° As high as 652 people die per year from experimenting with gene therapy.
Immune system may attack cells and cells may attack vital organs
· The immune system is designed to attack and destroy any intruders.
· Depending on specific experiments, the immune system can respond in different ways to the procedure.
· The immune system may react by attacking vital organs such as the heart or the liver.
· There have been more than 800 gene therapy studies involving 5,000 U.S. patients since the NIH approved the nation’s first human gene transfer study in 1989. Yet there are no approved therapies despite 17 years of research
· If there are no approved therapies yet, than there is no saying whether or not the immune system will react in a positive way to the experiment.

Debate Round No. 1
rwoods14

Pro


Rebuttal 1
· The cost of gene therapy is worth any price because it saves people lives. People that have a risk of getting cancer will not because of gene therapy and the alternative treatments for cancer such as kimo are also very expensive with no guaranteed cure.
· Weighing out the cost of living a normal life in possibly a little debt has greater value than struggling throughout your life with cancer/HIV worrying if your treatments are really going to work.
Rebuttal 2
· Scientists are changing the gene pool for future generations on purpose. They do this only with genes that have a future of negatively affecting the life of a human being. If a hereditary disease such as breast cancer is big in the family scientists will modify or replace that gene in order prevent this from happening not only in the next generation but for multiple generations to come.
· Scientists will only do this with serious diseases or predicted problems that could possible occur not for simple attributes like hair color that is extremely rare therefore gene pools will not become the same, future diseases, blood clots, and heart failure will only diminish from this medical procedure.

cdoemland7

Con


It can wipe out genetic diseases before they can begin and eliminate suffering for future generations
Gene therapy research is complicated enough when research diseases that already exist. Researching for disease that do not yet exist is impossible because you do not know where the mutation will occur within the human genome, or what the abnormality will be. There are far less risky medical treatments that can help prevent the spread of diseases, such as vaccines. Polio was a serious disease in the 1930’s, now it is near obsolete thanks to the invention of a vaccine for the treatment of the disease. The success rate in vaccinations is significantly higher than gene therapy. Also, the price of receive a vaccination is far less than receiving gene therapy. Therefore, instead of choosing gene therapy, we should select a more successful, less complex, cheaper, and more efficient method for the elimination of serious diseases.
Give people a chance at a normal life that otherwise would not be able to.
Gene therapy is often not an instant cure. Many times repeated doses of the new gene are necessary, making the patient improve slowly over time. Also, many people still have lasting effects of their disease or disorder even after gene therapy. The cost of gene therapy, as well additionally medical bills may dig the family far into debt, leading to poverty, and another abnormal life. Also, the success rate of gene therapy is extremely low, and instead of curing the person, it frequently leads to complications with their disease, or even death. Also, there are many FDA- approved methods on the market that can improve the quality of living for those stricken with diseases such as chemotherapy for cancer, and large quantities of anti-bodies for those suffering sever bacterial diseases.
· Cures genetic disorders, hereditary diseases and others deadly illnesses that cannot be treated with any kinds of medications or antibiotics.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved one gene therapy product for sale. Gene therapy is experimental and is not very successful in clinical trials. There is no proof that gene therapy can cure hereditary diseases, genetic disorders, and especially deadly illnesses. Some may be optimistic about gene therapy curing diseases such as cystic fibrosis, heart problems, AIDS, or cancer; however there is no evidence proving that specific gene therapy products cure these diseases. If gene therapy cured deadly illnesses or hereditary diseases there wouldn’t be much to debate about because not many would argue against a cure for diseases that are so common in today’s society. The fact that all gene therapy procedures are experimental and not an official treatment proves that saying gene therapy can cure all of these problems is wrong.
· Good technique for diseases not researched yet
If a disease has not been research yet then there is no possible way for gene therapy to play a role. There are four different methods that can be used in gene therapy:
§ A normal gene is inserted to replace a non-functional gene
§ An abnormal gene can be swapped for a normal gene
§ An abnormal gene may be repaired through selective reverse mutation
§ The regulation of a gene could be altered
It is impossible to accurately figure out which gene in the disease needs to be replaced, repaired, or altered without doing some sort of research on the disease. And if there is enough information on the disease provided to perform these methods, then the disease has obviously been researched.
Debate Round No. 2
rwoods14

Pro

Cures genetic disorders, hereditary diseases and others deadly illnesses that cannot be treated with any kinds of medications or antibiotics.

-Yes, it actually does cure these diseases the first person cured with gene therapy was On September 14, 1990, a four-year old girl suffering from a genetic disorder that prevented her body from producing a crucial enzyme became the first person to undergo gene therapy in the United States. Since her body could not produce �€œadenosine deaminase�€� (ADA), she had a weakened immune system, making her extremely susceptible to life-threatening infections. W. French Anderson and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, took white blood cells (which are crucial for proper immune system functioning) from the girl, inserted ADA producing genes into them, and then transferred the cells back into the patient. This procedure was successful and the girl was able to increase the tolerance of her immune system.

Good technique for diseases not researched yet

-It is possible to find unidentified diseases through gene therapy; because what if somebody died from an unknown disease and doctors did not know how to cure this patient they only knew what it did to him and how it affected his body. In this is the case gene therapists and scientists can do research through gene therapy in an embryo to see if this disease hereditary or not. This would help severely because it could also prevent an outbreak of and dangerous transmissible disease. These unknown deaths could be tracked down before birth and possible fixed before it happens again to someone in a later generation of the family.
cdoemland7

Con

Excessive Cost: Theoretically, every person has a chance of getting cancer or HIV/AIDS. But is it practical for every person to receive gene therapy? No. While people who actually have cancer of HIV may wish to invest in gene therapy, the other methods such as chemotherapy and radiation are significantly cheaper, and the success rate of them is 70% higher than the success rate of gene therapy. Therefore, the cost of gene therapy is ridiculous in comparison to cheaper, more successful treatments. Also, the vast majority of families are already in debt from previous medical bills. The excessive cost of gene therapy, compounded with interest, will only add to the mound of debt.

Changing the Gene Pool: While scientists may not intended to change simple attributes, it is impossible to tell the unintended consequences of changing the human gene pool through gene therapy. By eliminating a virus such as AIDS, we may also eliminate blue eyes from the human gene pool. Also, it is impossible to predict every problem that can occur with gene therapy every time. Scientists would not intentionally change the human gene pool due to the risk of unforeseen consequences and the risk of complications involving the rest of the body. If we continue to change the gene pool, the future is very uncertain.

Mortality Rate:
As far as your argument about gene therapy techniques being relatively new; you provide no concrete evidence to show what the Medical researchers, institutions, and regulatory agencies are doing to ensure that the experiments are as safe as possible. Even so, they work as hard as they want, but as long as the gene therapy procedures are just experimental, and not officially approved, than there is no saying whether or not the procedure could be lethal. Until then, the mortality rate won't change drastically; there will still be a lot of victims who will lose their life participating in gene therapy.

Immune System:
Stating that processes are being researched only shows that there still isn't an answer to how they can produce a safe product that won't attack their immune system. Also, what are these treatments that are being developed and are they successful? You say there are treatments yet you only provide one example, in China, that only deals with one specific type of cancer. This is not always successful. The technique may be approved, but is it proved to be successful in more than a couple cases? Inserting p53 into the immune system may seem like a quick fix for stopping tumors from spreading, but in reality it is not healthy for the immune system because it can cause premature aging. Just because China, the only place where this is approved, uses this method, there is obviously a reason why no one else does.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by cdoemland7 5 years ago
cdoemland7
Cons Final Statement:

In conclusion, gene therapy is a method used to fix genes responsible for the development of diseases. Gene therapy is unethical due to excessive cost, a high mortality rate, the risk of changing the human gene pool, and the chance that the immune system may attack the new cells, which may attack vital organs. Gene therapy is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and until it is, it is impractical to even consider it as a form of medicine. There are certain methods that are less expensive, and more efficient and reliable. Vote against gene therapy!
Posted by rwoods14 5 years ago
rwoods14
sorry, these ended up a little unorganized after i posted them
Posted by rwoods14 5 years ago
rwoods14
Rebuttal 4
Creating processes that agrees with the immune system is the up most concern for doctor and gene therapy researchers. Processes are being researched and treatments are being developed though…
The US has yet to approve any therapies. China however has approved a relatively simple treatment that has shown to cure a particularly common cancer in the head and neck in China.

They introduced a procedure where an adenovirus is designed to insert a gene called p53. This gene codes for a protein that triggers cell suicide when cells start to go bad, preventing them from becoming cancerous.
In the largest clinical trial, 120 patients with nasopharyngeal cancer were given either radiotherapy alone, or Gendicine and radiotherapy. The p53-carrying viruses were injected directly into tumors once a week for eight weeks and most patients were monitored for more than a year afterwards.
In 64 % of patients given Gendicine there was complete regression of tumors, three times as great as that in the radiotherapy-only group.

The only side effects where fever in around a third of patients.

Each dose of this cancer curing therapy will cost only 3,000 Yuan or $360. A Very manageable price for anyone and far less expensive compared to the other treatments you've referenced.
Posted by rwoods14 5 years ago
rwoods14
This is rebuttal 3 since it doesn't look like i can post again in round 2

Rebuttal 3
As for the mortality rate; because the techniques are relatively new, some of the risks may be unpredictable; however, medical researchers, institutions, and regulatory agencies are working to ensure that gene therapy research is as safe as possible
Although Gelsinger died in one of the first documented cases of gene therapy The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did an investigation that concluded; the scientists involved in the trial, including the lead researcher Dr. James M. Wilson (U Penn), broke several rules of conduct…
They used Gelsinger as a substitute for another volunteer who dropped out, despite Gelsinger having high ammonia levels that should have excluded him from the trial
The university failed to report that two patients had previously experienced side effects from the gene therapy.
They failed to mention the deaths of monkeys given a similar treatment in the informed consent documentation.
Although Gelsinger's death is triadic it was due to poor decisions by the doctors not a failure in the process.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………............
Also the 652 deaths you mentioned weren't actually deaths. They were cases where adverse reactions were found. Only some ended in death.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
rwoods14cdoemland7Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by cdoemland7 5 years ago
cdoemland7
rwoods14cdoemland7Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by dylanandtimpareweenies7 5 years ago
dylanandtimpareweenies7
rwoods14cdoemland7Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by rwoods14 5 years ago
rwoods14
rwoods14cdoemland7Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70