Broader Impacts of Gene Therapy


Achromatopsia effects 1 in every 30,000 humans. Males are more likely to suffer from achromatopsia than females. Complete achromatopsia (ability to see only white, black and grey) is more common than incomplete achromatopsia (ability to see most colors with the exception of one or more colors, often red or green).


BENEFITS- Gene therapy carries many benefits for individuals.
  • The ability to restore normal conditions for those suffering from diseases. This ranges anywhere from restoring color vision to tumor reduction.
  • Reduce the individual's cost of frequent treatments or doctor's visits for toleration of the condition.
  • The more widely therapy becomes acceptable, the greater the push toward discovering new treatments, cures, genes, technology, etc.

COST- There is a great monetary cost associated with gene therapy.
  • It is difficult for low-income families to acquire the benefits of gene therapy.
  • Even if insurance companies provided their services to cover gene therapy, the cost of healthcare may rise for everyone of all financial classes. This would also be true for pharmaceutical costs.


ETHICS- There are ethical issues surrounding the use of gene therapy to "fix" people.
  • People question when it is appropriate to use gene therapy. Are you attempting to fix an unwanted trait or a debilitating disease/condition?
  • If fixing unwanted traits becomes acceptable, will society be working toward creating the perfect human? What effects does this have on genetics evolution/natural selection? What about societal body image issues? These are unanswered questions that society has about gene therapy's possible effects.
  • Using viral vectors can be dangerous to the individual due to autoimmune responses and the risk of adjusting the wrong gene or a pleiotropic gene.
  • Long term effects of gene therapy are currently unknown.

RELIGION- Certain religions believe that humans are God's creation.
  • Gene therapy would be changing what God has created and therefore would be taboo in certain religious communities.


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Discussion
Work Cited