Should Scientists Be Allowed to Perform DNA Tests on Selecting Human Embryos?

The study of the DNA of human embryos was possible at the time when in vitro fertilization began to be practiced. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process of forming a human embryo outside the womb. The process involves extracting several eggs from a woman’s body and then fertilizing them in a laboratory. A couple days after fertilization, genetic tests can be applied on a cell that is removed from the embryo. The DNA testing process is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and usually triggers the diagnosis of the embryos with genetic abnormalities but can also identify other genetic traits of the future progenitor such as sex, athletic ability, special talent, and certain physical appearance.
The researchers produced the first fertilized human egg in the laboratory in 1978 (Hudson 104). Since this instance gave the opportunity of developing genetic tests on the embryos, PGD was performed on around 1000 babies born around the world (Hudson 105). The debates question the ethics and the societal impact of letting scientists conduct tests on selecting human embryos. Critics argue that availability of choosing embryos with desired DNA violates the law of nature and, over time, can have an impact on disabled people, women, and family dynamics. However, the beneficial opportunities of preselecting embryos embody a powerful tool in avoiding serious genetic diseases, saving a sick sibling’s life, and choosing desired genetic traits for children.
The traditional Catholic Church revolts against in vitro fertilization followed by genetic selection. Jeannie Hannemann, a family life minister and one of the founders of the Elizabeth Ministry, an international mentoring service for women during pregnancy, supports Catholics’ view o…

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… study, and these tests require a strong collaboration between physicians who identify disabilities, the government who regulates the use of a technology, and parents who desire good genes for their children.

In Vitro Fertilization: Ethical Problems of Mitochondrial DNA and Three Biological Parents

In vitro fertilisation: ethical problems of mitochondrial DNA and

three biological parents

Mitochondria are essential for the cell energy production through the citric acid cycle. In order for

the cycle to work in a best way possible, the mitochondria are equiped with their own DNA that

primarily codes for proteins vital to the energy production and oxidative metabolism of the cells.

Mitochondrial DNA has several differences to nuclear DNA. Unlike the ”regular” nuclear DNA,

mitochondrial DNA in circular like most bacterial DNA and unlike nuclear DNA, mitochondrial

DNA is more prone to possible mutations. Mitochondrial DNA is also passed down from mother to

the child since the female egg provides most of the fetuses mitochondria and the male sperm’s

mitochondria act in a minor role in the fertilisation process.

Due to the nature of mitochondrial DNA, genetic disorders typically pass down from the mother.

Mitochondrial diseases are characterized by changes in the cell energy production that often leads to

various manifestations, most of them related to growth and metabolism. In addition the disorders

are almost always lethal and cause the patient to die at a relatively young age.

Today women suffering from mitochondrial mutations have a choice if they wish to give birth to a

healthy child: in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In this case the nucleus of the women’s egg would be

removed to a healthy womans enucleated egg. The formed egg would have nuclear DNA from the

intended mother and mitochondrial DNA from the female egg donor and would then be fertilized by

a sperm of the future father, thus resulting in three-party parenthood and hence the method is often

called three-parent in vitro fertilisation.

The transfer o…

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…ever the entire role of mitochondria is, the new mitochondrial

genes are quite certainly the healthier ones.

Three-parent IVF is an actual option for women that suffer from mitochocondrial disease but want

their children to be free from the condition. The desire is understandable since the disease are often

severe and cause a dramatic loss of life quality. However three-parent IVF may have unforeseen

legal and medical consequences that could affect the porn child in other ways. Additionally we do

not know the long-term effects the three-parent in vitro fertilisation has on the embryo, and must

balance the cost of removing the unhealthy mitochondria with the risk of possible harm or

mitochondrial defects the three-parent IVF technique might cause. We also need to take in to count

the social aspects the possible three-parent in vitro fertilisation might have.

What is a Designer Baby and How are They Made?

DESIGNER BABIES There have been many social views on the topic of designer babies, which include a scientist point-of-view. Designer babies are those of which parents can make the rash decision to genetically alter their child so that they do not develop the genetic disorders that many of us have today. By using IVF or InVitro Fertilization as the method of altering the genes, doctors have been able to “custom make” unborn babies to portray or eliminate certain characteristics. What is a Designer Baby and How Are They Made? By definition, a “Designer Baby” is a genetically modified, unborn child. Basically, they are children who have been “designed” with the desired sex or characteristics. Scientists continue to learn more about the human genome, and as they do reproductive technology continually advances to levels that we never imagined. Researchers linked to Bionet point out: Advanced reproductive techniques involve using InVitro Fertilization (IVF), which is where eggs are fertilized by sperm in ‘test tubes’ outside the mother’s body in a laboratory. The type of sperm (X or Y) that fertilizes an egg can be chosen, which is used to determine the sex and genes of the baby. The embryos can be screened for genetic diseases, and only selected embryos are implanted back into the mother’s womb. This technique is called Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD. (Bionet par. 2) Michael Lemonick, a writer for Time, shows in his article “Designer Babies” that these techniques allow doctors and parents to reduce the chance that a child will be born with a genetic disorder. It must be catching on because each year in the U.S. about 25,000 kids are born by IVF (Lemonick par. 16). And, not only is this like an extravagant shopping experienc… … middle of paper … …d no longer be human – but property. This is inhuman, and we must make sure that it does not happen by carelessly letting this technology be abused. References Bailey, Ronald. “Hooray for Designer Babies!” Reason Online 6 Mar. 2002. 19 Nov. 2005 Bionet. 19 Nov. 2005 http://www.bionetonline.og/English/Content/db_cont1.htm Alma College Lib., Alma, MI. 20 Nov. 2005

Artificial Sex Selection in Today’s Fertility Clinics

Artificial Sex Selection in Today’s Fertility Clinics

Thesis Statement:

The method of sorting cryopreserved sperm for the purpose of separating the X and Y chromosomes has been an ongoing process for many years. However, recently this method has become a modern preconception technique in which numerous applications for safe and effective selection procedures now exist in clinical practices. I have chosen to explore how currently these uses have broadened to areas where many of us might see as a moral or ethical issue. These uses might even be linked to a larger scheme of pre-embryonic chromosome attenuation such as the Human Genome Project.

General History of the Sperm Sorting Technique

As we approach the new Millennium, science continues to make greater advancements in the areas of fertility and genetics. Many heated discussions have taken place in this country over the course of the past decade regarding the topic of artificial sex selection. These scientific advancements have grown out of the public’s desire to have more control over creation. It is no longer acceptable to let nature decide crucial factors. Many parents now desire a way to manipulate genetic factors so that they can choose the sex of their unborn child, or possibly even other traits.

In the early 1980’s, the United States Department of Agriculture first introduced sex selection of farm animals. Methods claiming to achieve sex selection have existed for many years. Numerous applications for safe and effective selection procedures exist in current clinical practices, as sex-linked conditions could be theoretically eliminated by use of appropriate sperm for fertilization or insemination. Recently, the sperm-sorting techniques developed by the …

The Debate of Human Cloning

Missing Appendix

The Debate of Human Cloning

Human cloning has become a hot topic for debate. As we progressed one step closer to successfully cloning and developing a human being, legislators and the general public have become more concerned about the ethical and moral implications of this procedure. The federal government has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement as to what policy to pass and enact. Thus, any current legislation on human cloning has been developed and enforced by individual states. The state of California is one of the few states in the United States that has a policy on human cloning. Human cloning is banned in the state of California.

Because current policy does not allow for any human cloning to take place, many research projects have come to a standstill. Scientists have still been able to carry out certain cloning procedures that may not be viewed as ethical by the general public as a result of loopholes in current legislation. It is recommended that the current policy in place be revised to eliminate these loopholes and rewritten to permit human cloning to take place to generate the tissue and cells needed for therapeutic development and research to take place. The ban on human cloning should only apply when the procedure is used for reproductive purposes because current research has shown that it is not safe to use in humans at this time(Appendix A.1).

With proper restrictions and guidelines in place, society stands to gain many benefits through permitting human cloning for the purpose of research. DRAFT April 17, 1999 M E M O R A N D U M TO: California State Legislators and Governor Gray Davis DATE: April 17, 1999 SUBJECT: Recommendation that the state of California continues its ban on human cloning but revise the current policy to permit human cloning for research. BACKGROUND On July 5, 1996, researchers in Scotland made history when they announced the birth of Dolly, the world’s first successful cloning of a sheep (Appendix A.1). The world was shocked. The ability to reproduce human beings without sexual reproduction was no longer only an idea to be explored in sci-fi movies and books. After over forty years of research and development, human cloning is quickly becoming a reality.

The basic technique used to clone humans and animals, somatic-cell nuclear transfer, involves the insertion of DNA from a soma…

The Medical Establishment Is A Major Threat To Health – Discuss

The quotation “the medical establishment is a major threat to health” was one devised by Illich in Medical Nemesis (1976 p11) where he attempted to explain the detrimental effects medical professionals and their procedures can have on the health of individuals. In order to discuss the effects of the medical establishment it is necessary to evaluate its performance including the critiques of modern medicine. The concepts of iatrogenesis and medicalisation will be explored and case studies given as an example.

The medical profession have claimed responsibility for the eradication of the infectious diseases that plagued the population in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Vaccination, chemical cures and advancements in medical understanding of the biological mechanisms of the human body were the means by which the medical establishment claimed this victory. McKeown argues that “medicine only played a minor role” (Davey, et. al., 1995) and that nearly 90% of the decline in mortality rates between 1860 and 1965 occurred before chemical treatments were available (Illich, 1976). Cochrane indicates that medical technology has never been evaluated. In fact, in a study observing differences between heart disease patients nursed at home and in coronary care units, the results showed that hospitalisation did not provide any advantage (Bilton et. al., 1996). According to McKeown, social, environmental measures were most effective in the control of infectious disease and the medical establishment should not be credited with the power they now possess.

In modern society the emphasis of illness has changed from infectious diseases to new epidemics in the form of heart disease, cancer and accidents. There is:
“no evidence of any direct relationship between the mutation of sickness and the so-called progress of disease” (Davey et. al., 1995 p237).

Electronic Health Records: The Future Of Electronic Medical Records

Over the years, healthcare facilities have acted like a storehouse for patients’ medical records, uninterested and unable to distribute clinical data to anyone beyond their organization. The EHR, started in the 1960s under the name of “computerized-based patient record” (CPR), became known as “electronic medical records” (EMR) in the 1990s and today it is known as electronic health record (EHR).The target of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to incorporate the EHR and use it in a “meaningful” way to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of patient care delivery; to engage patients in their personal health record; and to improve care coordination. Equally important, the “meaningful use” of the EHR system intends to build a bridge to other systems by creating an interoperability of health information while implementing quality care throughout. However, this interoperability can only be accomplished when the receiving system and the user fully understand how to apply these exchanges.
Further, “meaningful use” is term used in American Recovery and Reinvestment…

The Role And Roles Of Information And Communication Technology In Healthcare

Introduction Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been shown to be increasingly important in the education or training and professional practice of healthcare. This paper discusses the impacts of using ICT in Healthcare and its administration. Health Information technology has availed better access to information, improved communication amongst physicians, clinicians, pharmacists and other healthcare workers facilitating continuing professional development for healthcare professionals, patients and the community as a whole. This paper takes a look at the roles, benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in healthcare services and goes on to outline the ICT proceeds/equipment used in the health sector such as the…show more content…
In other words, ICT basically promotes professionalism and reduce human effort as well as reducing the chances of erring. Healthcare simply means preventing, diagnosing and curing ailments that terminate life and reduce lifespan of human and all living things. In other words, the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) play a vital role in improving health care for humanity. It is efficient in providing, communicating and storing certain information about users and uses

Electronic Health Records: The Nursing Information System

Clinical documentation has been used throughout healthcare to analyze care provided to a patient, communicate important information between healthcare providers and patients, and provide medical records that will help patients track their conditions. The Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have revolutionized the process of clinical documentation through direct care to the patient. This electronic health record is a new technology that helps maintain patient’s privacy. Both computers and EHRs can facilitate and improve the clinical documentation methods, which is beneficial for all patients, the care teams, and health care organizations. In this case, documentation improvement has a direct impact on patients by providing quality information. However, the new technological change can also address the health care system efficiencies that result from paper-based charting. Obviously, the implementation of electronic clinical…show more content…
In the healthcare environment, clinical documentation is the collection of information that refers to patient’s electronic health or medical record. There are many advantages of using informational health records, “health care environment is experiencing an explosion of knowledge that requires standardization to collect, store, achieve, retrieve, process, analyze, and exchange vast amounts of health data [1], (pg. 252).”

Informatics In The Healthcare Industry

Informatics in the Clinical Area

Informatics has affected many areas of the medical field. Informatics has improved the field by “helping people to revisualize and redesign their information management and knowledge management skills and learn new ways of using clinical data to mange clinical practice and patient care” (McLane & Turley, 2011). The purpose for this paper is to explore informatics in streamlining paperwork, provide decision support tools, and review contribution that is made towards patient safety.

Informatics Streamline Paperwork and Communication

Informatics has streamlined paperwork by putting information in a centralized location. Informatics has many avenues for developing improvement to patient care. The introduction of electronic medical records (EMR) is a central source of information to locate and input patient information. The accessibility of information created by informatics makes information easily accessible for the healthcare team.