The Instigator
ctrilloo
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
BringMeTheHorizon
Con (against)
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0 Points

Gene Therapy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,053 times Debate No: 52172
Debate Rounds (5)
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ctrilloo

Pro

Gene therapy is the transplantation of normal genes into cells in place of missing or defective ones in order to correct genetic disorders. There is a lot of controversy on whether it should be used or not. Gene therapy uses genes to treat or prevent diseases. It is the best cure for most diseases. According to gtherapy.co.uk, "It replaces the defective gene with a healthy copy- no other therapy can do that". This shows how effective the method of gene therapy is for curing diseases. The website asgct.org states that, "After many years of laboratory and preclinical research in appropriate animal models of disease, a number of clinical trials will soon be launched for various genetic disorders that include congenital blindness, lysosomal storage disease, and muscular dystrophy, among others". This also shows how effective gene therapy is because it can be used to cure various disorders unlike any other type of therapy. This website also explains that, "Multiple gene therapy strategies have been developed to treat a wide variety of cancers, including suicide gene therapy, oncolytic virotherapy, anti-angiogenesis, and therapeutic gene vaccines". Gene therapy could even cure cancers that other therapies cannot. This shows how reliable and efficient gene therapy really is.
BringMeTheHorizon

Con

You stated about how it is the best way to cure diseases. Wouldn't the best way to be not to have to remove the original genes and fix it without surgery or anything. It was also said that it was tested on animals. Not a lot of animals are like humans in genetic wise, it would be unreliable if it was given an okay to be used on humans if it was used on an organism barley like the human itself would it not be? Although right now it may seem like it the most reliable source right now something more reliable will probably be introduced later.

Gene therapy is not always used for the better good, and many of these alternative uses are very bad. Gene therapy can genetically modify an organism. The reason why many organisms are genetically modified is to create the "perfect" organism according to naturalrevelution.org. Natural revolution empowering natural living states that using gene therapy forces normal cells out and forces genetically modified cells into the body. By doing this gene therapy can cause the patient who has received the therapy many health issues. Gene therapy was tested on a group of sheep in India stated by Natural Revolution empowering natural living. These sheep were then released into a pasture. A few months later it was found that because of the testing on the sheep a toxin was released from them and killed the surrounding sheep and people who lived nearby. After an autopsy was performed on the sheep and it showed that the sheep"s blood, kidney, and liver were also affected negatively after the testing. Gene therapy is very unethical and unmoral because it is only hurting the person.
Debate Round No. 1
ctrilloo

Pro

You said it is not always used for the better good, but when is it used for harm? A perfect organism is what many people would like. Also, it may cause health issues but it can cure many cancers or genetic disorders that other therapies cannot. Therefore, genetic therapy being used to create the perfect organism or to cure diseases outweighs the risks. Once more knowledge is gained about the effects of gene therapy, scientists could find a way to prevent those health issues.

Since gene therapy can be used for any genetically linked traits, humans can create a perfect organism. "Should people be allowed to use gene therapy to enhance basic human traits such as height, intelligence, or athletic ability?", ghr.nlm.nih.gov asks. People can change their appearance or their baby's traits. Ndsu.edu states, "It could also be used for any genetically linked trait such as eternal appearance, personality, or physical enhancement. These concerns will have to be dealt with in time". People would be much more happier with themselves and for other people if they could change their eye color, etc. "In the future it may even be possible for parents to have made-to-order babies. They could have the perfect child of their dreams from eye color and stature to how intelligent the child is," according to ndsu.edu. Imagine how much more advanced our society would be if we had a lot of geniuses or extremely athletic children.
BringMeTheHorizon

Con

You state in your argument that in the future parents may be able to have made-to-order babies; how is this morally and ethically right? It is not right to make the perfect baby, what is even the perfect baby/organism. The perfect organism is not always good either. You also said about how much more advanced society would be with much more geniuses and athletes. Society can have those advances, and many are made every day so having a push would not be needed and even wanted.

Gene therapy is not ethical and moral. By using gene therapy on people is to be playing god. It is very unethical to play god and change things in nature. Changing genetics in a human being is very wrong and immoral. Nih.gov states that the act of playing god itself is very unethical. By doing gene therapy it can cause long term issues for the patient. Nih.gov also states it is unethical to place harm and or risk harm on a person. By doing gene therapy on someone there is always a risk of putting the patient in harm"s way. It is also known that the patient can get sick, hurt, and or even killed by having gene therapy used on them. The traits, characteristics, and even disorders given to us are meant for us. As humans we should not be able to change what is a part of us. This is said by gtherapy.co.uk. Even though some of the things given to us may not always be good it is given to us. We could even have worse which is death. By not being dead though it shows although we may not like it is meant for us and we should embrace it and accept it not hate it for the rest of our lives.
Debate Round No. 2
ctrilloo

Pro

It was stated in your argument that it is unethical to risk harm on a person. Would it be better to just let the people live with their disease rather than try to cure it? Wouldn't it be better to risk harm with trying to cure a disease that would be more harmful to the person in the future? Other therapies could also risk harm on a person and they are not as effective as gene therapy. It would not be unethical to risk harm on a person if it is done to cure a disease that could possibly be hurting the person more.

Another advantage of gene therapy is that it "wipes out genetic disease before they can begin and eliminate suffering for future generations," according to ndsu.edu. Not only would it prevent the person from suffering, but it would prevent their children from having it too. It could prevent diseases before people even know they have them, since gene therapy is also "a good technique for diseases not researched yet. All of us carry defected genes an may not know it", states ndsu.edu. This could prevent great suffering and pain for people and their future children. "With its potential to eliminate and prevent hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis and hemophilia and its use as a possible cure for heart disease, AIDS, and cancer, gene therapy is a potential medical miracle-worker", says kidshealth.org. With gene therapy curing diseases before it begins and preventing future generations from having it, most of the population's diseases could be eliminated over time.
BringMeTheHorizon

Con

Your argument says that all of us carry defected genes and may no know it. Genes that are defected that do not harm us should be left alone, should they not? If we did not know about those defected genes they must not be harming us so why put in all the expenses, the time, and the heart ache to get something not needed done?

Although genetic testing may sound like one appointment will make everything go away that is a lie. Right now one of the only ways to receive gene therapy is through clinical trials. Even if you get lucky you may have to go to five, six, maybe even ten appointments till the testing can be done. this information is said by moyoclinic a foundation for medical education and research. Also aside from having many appointments you have to be a certain age for almost all of the therapies. Mayoclinic tells us. Citizens link a group that tells their community information about many things tells us that the possibility of getting another problem is so high it is not a good idea to get gene therapy. If one of those complications happens more medical visits will need to be done and the more money, time, and heart ache is used through your life. They also say that getting gene therapy could most likely harm you more than help you
Debate Round No. 3
ctrilloo

Pro

You said people have to be a certain age for almost all of the therapies, but isn't that true for other therapies too? Many other therapies also require several appointments. For all therapies there is going to be some kind of risk. Isn't risking harm better than leaving the patient uncured? Any therapy for a disease would be worth any amount of money and time as long as the patient is cured.

As was mentioned before, there is a possibility that any children the disease goes on to would not have the defective gene. Gtherapy.co.uk says, "If gene therapy targets the reproductive cells of carriers of such genetic disorders as cystic fibrosis, Parkinson"s disease, or cancer, it is possible that any children the carrier goes on to have would be free of the defective gene and on a bigger scale the disease can be wiped out completely". Gene therapy causes the disease to be wiped out completely which could save many lives. Germline gene therapy "involves modifying the genes in egg or sperm cells, which will then pass any genetic changes to future generations", says kidshealth.org. The term germline therapy is used to "describe the form of gene therapy where the correct gene is inserted into the reproductive cells. Therefore when the treated individual reproduces his or her offspring will have the correct gene instead of the defected one", states ndsu.edu.
BringMeTheHorizon

Con

You say in your argument that gene therapy could save many lives. Could though is the big what if, is it fair to put a child at risk of a a worse illness or even death? How it is described in your argument is that gene therapy is safe and no death comes from the process. In many case that is not the truth at all.

Gene therapy is a very dangerous risk to take. Bionews discovered over the years there have been over 100 to 1000 failed attempts of gene therapy. Soon after they also discovered that because of these death a high number of people (over 200) have died from the procedure. After finding out this bionews wanted to find out exactly how many deaths there have been. Over the past seven year 691 deaths have been recorded for human gene therapy. Cbs news found out from a blood vessel study for gene therapy deaths from gene therapy can sometimes be undetected. Six people who died of "natural causes" were soon found to have died from gene therapy. With this knowledge the study now wonders how many more people have died from "natural cause" have actually died from gene therapy.
Debate Round No. 4
ctrilloo

Pro

You stated gene therapy is a dangerous risk to take because there has been high number of deaths but many other therapies can also go wrong. Scientists have also discovered that gene therapy has succeeded and has saved many lives. You said there were over 200 deaths from the procedure, but it depends on the disease and when this happened. Doctors report 120 patients that had leukemia were cured with gene therapy. Many patients had no cancer found after the treatment. With more tests of gene therapy and medical advances, more lives will be saved in the future.

My final argument is that gene therapy is still cheaper than many treatments and may become even cheaper. Ndsu.edu states that "gene therapy will probably be cheaper in the long run since it is a one time only procedure". With it being cheaper, gene therapy could wipe out all diseases. Huffingtonpost.com says "The gene therapy must be made individually for each patient, and lab costs now are about $25,000 without a profit margin. That"s still less than many drugs to treat the disease and far less than a transplant". Although gene therapy is not the cheapest treatment for diseases, it is cheaper, yet more effective than some therapies.
BringMeTheHorizon

Con

You said that gene therapy is cheaper than many treatments, is that entirely accurate though? Gene therapy is very expensive, some people may be able to afford chemotherapy but not gene therapy. The stated cost was 25,000. Let's be honest who woupd be able to pay that amount of money for that therapy. In todays economy not a lot of money like that is owned by a lot of people.

In this final argument the actual risks and disadvantages of gene therapy will be talked about. Mayo foundation for medical education and research has proven that many serious problems (there is a high risk of them happening) could happen. A few of these risks include unwanted immune system reaction. This is where inflammation amd even serious cases of organ failure can happen. Another major health issue that can happen is targeting the wrong cell. An altered virus from the therapy infects other cells and causes major damage to these said cells. "Other illnesses and disease can start to happen because of this including cancer" is stated by Mayo foundation for medical education and research. Possible formation of a tumor is a likley possibility of gene therapy too. In gene therapy it is not comman to accidentally insert the gene into a wrong cell or area. This could lead to tumor formation in the area which can start a chain reaction that can turn fatal. These all have been documented problems seen by Mayo foundation for medical education and research. These are only a few of the problems tha can accure with gene therapy and there are way more not told in this argument.
Debate Round No. 5
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