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Ethical Considerations in Gene Therapy - Essay Example

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This paper "Ethical Considerations in Gene Therapy" attempts to investigate the various unsolved ethical problems associated with gene therapy treatment techniques. Since the concept of gene therapy cannot be considered as a novel variation or recent advance, the history of ethical issues associated with gene therapy dates back to the time when the term was first suggested…
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Ethical Considerations in Gene Therapy
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Download file to see previous pages Gene therapy technique is applied to develop efficient methods for the introduction of DNA into cells after appropriate DNA sequences and cell types have been identified. Such delivery methods have several highly effective prospects including treatment of genetic and neurodegenerative diseases, combating viral infections, and inhibiting tumor growth (Verma and Somia, 1997).
In general, gene therapy aims at the replacement of abnormal genes that are causing the disease. However, gene therapy technologies have also given rise to various moral and ethical concerns. While some scientists support and favor the experimentation, others are opposing it on ethical grounds. The two opposing views of scientists over the ultimate consequences of gene therapy have developed ethical debates in public worldwide. For ensuring proper application of any technology, it is critical to consider the various ethical implications it may have. This paper attempts to investigate the various unsolved ethical problems associated with gene therapy treatment techniques.
Since the concept of gene therapy cannot be considered as a novel variation or recent advance, the history of ethical issues associated with gene therapy dates back to the time when the term was first suggested (Escors and Breckpot, 2010). The field of gene therapy along with its ethical concerns was pioneered by the United States by establishing the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. Hepatitis virus was used to treat Hodgkin disease earlier in 1949. However, it was by the late 1970s that scientists were able to declare gene therapy as a potential solution rather than an alternative to genetic disorders.
Stanfield Rogers and others employed Shope papillomavirus preparations to treat Hyperargininaemia in 1975. In 1980, Martin Cline was sanctioned as he did not get approval to transfer genes using recombinant DNA technology. A team of scientists carried out the first approved gene transfer protocol in 1988. The clinical experiment for any of the gene therapy techniques to treat disease was first published in 1990. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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