BP #4

This article describes the struggle of two scientists by the names of, Dr. Charpentier and Dr. Doudna who recently applied for a patent on their new Crispr technology and method of gene therapy. This technique could be used to eliminate diseases transmitted through genes by simply changing the letter in the DNA sequence. The way the technique is applied, is similar to that of a a word processing software that allows you to search for a certain word and then delete it. This new technology can be applied to human, plant and animal cells with some slight tweaking. There is great potential, with this new technology, to eliminate as well as prevent infants from inheriting genes that cause diseases that would shackle them for the rest of their lives.

A great break through such as this could lead to positive outcomes if it is used for the right reasons. Dr. Dounda was prepared for these uncertainties about the intended use of the new technology and heavily emphasized that the Crispr technology would only be used to help people who have a disease due to their genealogy.

After reading through the article my mind wandered to the idea of consequentialism. Upon checking my notes and refreshing myself on this topic, I found that:  Consequentialism  states: (1) acts are morally right just because they maximize the amount of goodness in the world, (2) acts yield the greatest balance of benefits over drawbacks; optimific action, and (3) optimific action maximized utility.

In regards to the Crispr technology when an individual is in a rational state of mind and logically thinking it would seem that the optimific action would be to tweak the original technique so that this technology could be used to help people as soon as possible. But because this technology and technique is similar to that of the RNA interface and gene therapy, it was met with obstacles when attempting to receive a patent. This action of attempting to block this new and potential life changing technology from receiving a patent could be seen as the opposite of the optimific action in this case. Attempting to slow down the patent procedure with a speculation of interference does not agree with the three requirements that make up consequentialism.


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