Below is another controversial essay example from a Go2Essay team. If needed, be sure to check out more examples of essays on the web site.
Throughout the world, scientists have investigated and revolutionized our way of deciding how we should live out our lives, how doctors should practice medicine, how scientists study biology, and how we think as individuals. It is called the Human Genome Project. While many researchers strive to collect human genetic materials and determine the chemical sequence, the main goals are to detect, understand, and provide new understanding of human evolution in order to develop new ways of treating and preventing debilitating disorders.
One of the medical advancements made available to a husband and wife that can not have much wanted children naturally on their own may look to surrogate motherhood. “Typically in this procedure, sperm from a man whose wife is infertile are used to inseminate a woman, called a surrogate, who is paid a fee for her childbearing services. In return, the surrogate agrees to turn the baby over to the man (who is the natural father). The child is then adopted by his wife” (Berk, 68). A woman who is unable to conceive or bear a child naturally with her mate due to infertility may seek another woman to provide an egg and carry the child to term. Upon the delivery, the infant is given to the biological father and adopted by the infertile wife. These surrogate mothers are often said as giving the “gift of life” to couples who otherwise are unable to have children. Proponents often argue that “it is a good way to help infertile women satisfy a fundamental human longing and, therefore, should be permitted and even facilitated” (Baldi, 42).
If surrogate motherhood is looked at in regards to the child’s best interest, there are some questions to be answered, however. “Should the child be told, when old enough to understand, the pertinent details of his or her conception and birth? Should the identity of the surrogate mother be routinely disclosed? What if the surrogate mother wants to be known to the child? What if she doesn’t? What if she insists on visitation rights or other ongoing involvement with the child? Should a child be deprived of personal information-information that not only might be important medically but can also affect the child’s individual being?” (Baldi, 56).
Surrogate motherhood may be an option for postmenopausal women as well as women of child bearing years. For the most part most of these women went through menopause early and are still quite young and healthy and in the minority are women that may be in their sixties. Overall the concerns are the same as in choosing surrogate motherhood but added to them is the concern of age and life expectancy. “Serious questions arise about bringing children into the world whose parents may not live to see them reach adulthood” (Berk, 69). The death of a parent is devastating to a child as well as the possible relocation to another family and community.
Another great scientific advancement is the detection of abnormal genes resulting from the Human Genome Project. “Its main goals are to provide powerful new approaches for understanding human evolution and the development of genetic disorders so they can be prevented and treated” (Berk, 70). Scientists have already been able to trace several genetically linked diseases. The procedure entails replacing a defected gene with one that is normal, of course this is oversimplifying the process greatly. “Stopping many human tragedies (due to genetically linked diseases) at last has become a realizable human goal for medical research” (Watson, 33).
Although this sounds wonderful and very promising, there are some concerns when it comes to protecting the public and the public’s privacy. “A major controversy involves testing children and adults who are at risk for genetic diseases but who do not yet show symptoms” (Berk, 71). The problem would be that although testing is available, the ability to correct the disorder is not. There is also a concern of discrimination especially in the workplace or in regards to health insurance. If an employer or health insurance carrier obtains information regarding the disease of an individual, they may deny employment or insurance, at a time when it is needed most. Lastly, there is a concern over choosing specific traits for future children, the Ken and Barbie look in a combination with a mind of a great thinker.
The world of science has made tremendous advances in so many areas. There has been a remarkable progress in fetal surgery, surrogate motherhood, postmenopausal-assisted childbearing, and detection of abnormal genes resulting from the Human Genome Project. With the countless medical improvements, however, come many ethical and moral controversies that will be discussed in our society for many years to come.
- Baldi, Pierre. The Shattered Self: The End of Natural Evolution. Bradford Book; 2001.
- Berk, Laura E. Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Allyn and Bacon, 2002, pp. 69-71.
- Watson, James D. A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2000.
- The Human Genome Project. Retrieved February 8, 2004, from www.georgetown.edu/research/nrcbl/scopenotes/sn17.htm.
The Science Behind the Human Genome Project. Retrieved February 9, 2004, from www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/info.shtml.