?The effort underway is unlike anything ever before attempted, if successful, it could lead to
our ultimate control of human disease, aging, and death.? ?Thomas Lee
Does the Human Genome Project affect the moral standards of society? Can the information produced by it become a beneficial asset or a moral evil? Ultimately, it is true that powerful tools are subject to great abuse. Knowledge of genetics is a powerful tool, and could be abused by a government, which is a central reason this proposal is limited to voluntary individual choice. Many tools are powerful in our modern society. Genetics, particularly of a large population cannot be quickly changed. Tyrants, like Hitler or Stalin, may be interested in genetics and attempt to manipulate the gene pool, but do not have generations to wait.
The Human Genome Project is a worldwide investigative effort with the goal of analyzing the structure of human DNA and determining the location of the estimated 100,000 human genes (Hudson).
Along the way, they hope to understand the basis of, and maybe even develop methods of treating certain genetic diseases such as Alzheimer?s and Muscular Dystrophy. The plan is to do this by identifying the DNA sequence of an abnormal gene in which a disease originates and comparing it with the data of a normal or healthy gene. But does the project affect the moral standards of society? Can the information produced by it become a beneficial asset or a moral evil?
The project began in the mid 1980?s and was widely adopted within the scientific community and public press through the last half of that decade. In the United States, the Department of Energy(DOE) initially, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) soon after, were the main research agencies within the US government responsible for developing and...