In responsibly in a way that betters the

In the Dalai Lama’s text, “Ethics and the New Genetics,” Lama articulates the ethical dilemmas that accompany genetic manipulation as a whole as well as human genome engineering in particular for the purpose of emphasizing that genetic manipulation technologies, such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), should be used correctly and responsibly in a way that betters the human race as a whole both in the present and the long-term future. Specifically, Lama argues that as technologies that allow human genome engineering to exist become feasible, we must question the intention that drives one to consider altering the otherwise natural human genome. “We need to consider whether this is being done out of positive intention or on the basis of a particular society’s prejudices at a particular time,” (Lama 66). Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of the CRISPR technology, shares a similar ideology with Lama. Doudna juxtaposes the positives and negatives of human genome modification by explaining the potential medical benefits offered by this type of technology as well as the prospective differences in people’s genomes and how that may create a gap in society as people use this technology to engineer human embryos with traits deemed desirable. In discussions of human genome engineering, a particularly controversial issue is the manipulation of genes for the purpose of enhancing physical and cognitive characteristics. Doudna and her colleagues, on the one hand, argue that this type of technology lets us “achieve potentially astounding things” medically, “like being able to correct mutations that cause sickle cell anemia or cause Huntington’s Disease,” (Doudna). On the other hand, however, they concede that this raises many ethically based questions and have therefore called for “a global pause in clinical applications of the CRISPR technology on human embryos, to give time to consider all the various implications of doing so,” (Doudna). Where the agreement for the use of the types of technology usually ends, however, is on the question of whether it should be used on human embryos. Lama suggests that human enhancement will have ramifications on social, political, and especially ethical levels, and should therefore not be implemented for the purpose of human enhancement. “At the social level, it will reinforce our disparities. In political matters, it will breed a ruling elite. On the ethical level, these kinds of differences can undermine our basic moral sensibilities as they are based on a mutual recognition of shared humanity,” (Lama 67). Here Lama is maintaining the idea that altering the human genome will ultimately cause even greater disparities in society than at the present. Where Lama and Doudna begin to disagree on the topic of human genome engineering is whether it implemented as a way to prevent certain disabilities or a genetic disposition of a disability. Lama, on the one hand, argues that it is irrelevant whether or not a person has a disability because it does not affect their value as a human being. On the other hand, Doudna contends that since this technology can repair mutations that are likely to occur and even those that may not even manifest themselves, it should be put into clinical practice once the various implications of doing so are considered.


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