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Reflection on "The Dark Side of CRISPR"

lizzieryann's picture

As a Biology major I found the article “The Dark Side of CRISPR” to be both interesting and  terrifying. While advancements in science are always exciting, the ways in which these advancements can be applied for corrupt agendas is scary. CRISPR has “the ability to eliminate from the gene pool what medical science identifies as faulty or abnormal genes that cause differences in individual people.” Therefore, scientists could use CRISPR to eliminate people with genetic differences based on the ground that this is a “good thing” for society. This then starts to feel a bit eugenics-like. There has to be an understanding that it’s not okay to edit people out of existence in order to form a more genetically perfect future. Quality of life is very subjective and it’s not ethical to determine that for another person (though Peter Singer disagrees). To quote the end of the article, “bad genes don’t necessarily lead to bad lives.” Therefore, CRISPR should not eliminate genetic differences in an effort to form a false utopia of sorts without genetic disability. Having a genetic disease can be a key aspect of someone's identity. By pushing the agenda that genetic differences are bad this false narrative that people with disabilities are in a constant state of suffering continues to circulate. This idea that there is absolutely nothing good that can come of disability and that disabled lives are not worth living is untrue and very damaging.