Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Personal Thoughts on CRISPR Readings

Sarah W-J's picture

CRISPR is such an incredibly complex bioethical issue that I believe more people should be discussing. I fear, as stated in the readings, that through methods of CRISPR disabled populations could be copletely eradicated. Society directly overlooks the contributions, thoughts, and value that disabled inviduals offer and have offered for centuries. The loss of disabled communties is incomprehensible and indescrible, as countless things, perspectives, forms of art, and are taken out due to incorrect perceptions on quality of life. I believe CRISPR, with informed consent from adult indivuals, can be acceptable, though how do we deem if an embryo will or will not have good quality of life based on possible disabilities? How will doctors and bioethicists alike gauge what disabilities are deserving of being wiped out through gene editing, and what can be kept. Again, it is an incredibly dangerous slope, and based on America's eugenicist history, it would not shock me if CRISPR, which could very well be used in helpful and non-eugenicist ways, could be used to wipe out entire communities. 

 

I would also like to point out, even if CRISPR did begin to gene edit out specific disabilities, disability as a whole would never be fully eradicated, though policy makers may want this. Throughout life through accidents, disease and more people will become disabled, no matter what. With CRISPR, policies and accomadations could dwindle due to perception that individuals with disabilities are being edited out, making it harder for those who become disabled to gain those accomadations, and create stigma altogether for those who may have chosen not to utilize CRISPR technologies. Of course, this is a projection into the future, though it is very possible with CRISPR technologies people will be quicker to forget about our very existence. This is a terrifying fact.