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TOK Prez v.2

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Colton Westmark

on 9 January 2013

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Transcript of TOK Prez v.2

Pro-life Activist Believes that life begins at conception and that every life is sacred. Medical Researcher Believes that medical research can improve people's health, increase their lifespan and improve their quality of life. Parents Would do anything and everything to save the life of their child. TOK Presentation Stewart, Colton, Thea To What Extent is it Ethical to Create Genetically Perfect Humans? Perspectives To what extent is it ethical to create a life only to end it, in order to preserve another life? To what extent can we use the sciences to justify ethical decisions? - Five "designer" babies were born to provide stem cells for
their older siblings with "non-heritable" conditions.
-Before the birth of the "savior sibling" a number of embryos are tested to ensure a tissue match between the savior sibling and the ailing sibling.
-When conceiving a child naturally, there is a 1 in five
chance that the child born will be a match to their sibling's tissue.
-The stem cells of the savior sibling are harvested from the umbilical cord.
-This procedure is aimed to provide stem cells to children who have diseases like leukemia and a condition known as 'Diamond-Blackfan anemia'.
- Use of this technology is highly controversial. Perspectives A Military Planner (Secretary of Defense) Would support it because it can lead to a program for creating super soldiers
A military general will support this idea because genetically modified soldiers will be able to do many things that would normally be beyond the capabilities of a normal soldier.
Such as, be able to carry more, take more punishment, and be able to stay in the field for longer uninterrupted periods. My Opinion I agree with genetically modifying humans to a certain extent because it can still cause harm and problems if the knowledge of how to fell into the wrong hands. A Creationist A Creationist would be against genetic modification because they would believe that we are how God made us to be and that any alteration to this would be considered a sin. Real Life Situation Contestable Terms Ethical
- What is truly ethical, or unethical? Assumptions Examples of Human Genetic Modification: In the movie GATTACA the movie brings up the idea of genetically enhanced humans, with the creation of a baby using only certain genes from each parent. In the popular video game series HALO the main playable character is a part of the SPARTAN Program, which is a super-soldier program which uses genetic Augmentation to create super-soldiers.
It goes without saying that a military General would support this because of the capabilities of these soldiers.
I am not fully sure about what a Creationist would think of this, as it is only a select number of people, I do feel as if they would not support it because it is changing the human body in unnatural ways.
I like this idea as it would allow for a smaller military, which would decrease the number of casualties sustained in combat, because the super soldiers would be able to survive under more hardship than regular soldiers. -Emotion can be involved in all ethical situations.
-If something is "scientifically proven" it is fact.
-In ethics, there is only "right" and "wrong". Contestable Term When life begins is a contestable term in and of itself. In this presentation I am using both definitions of life beings at birth and that life begins at conception. Real World Example A family's infant son is very sick with cystic fibrosis and the only chance of survival is a lung transplant from a genetic match. The family intends to conceive a child, who is a genetic match, harvest the fetus's lungs at 37 weeks when the lungs are fully developed, and transplant them into their sick son. Distinctions between each perspective The military planner is very distinctly different from the creationist:
The military planner thinks of how this technology could be used for defense, while the creationist perspective only thinks of how this procedure would change a human beings form.
My opinion is in between these two; I believe that the technology from this could greatly benefit Mankind, however the technology can create social distinctions between those who have been modified and those who haven't. Claims and Counter-claims One claim that the military planner can make is that this technology can be very helpful in the defense field, mainly due to the fact that it can create super-soldiers that would help defend our country. A counter-claim to this would be that it is not a good idea because other countries can do this, thus creating another technology race and possibly sending us to war.

A claim that can be made by the creationist is that it changes the human body from the form that God wanted, and therefore is a sin. While the counter-claim to this, that can be made by anyone, is that, evolution happened therefore we were not created this way by God. Significance and Implications of Human Genetic Modification The significance of this research is quite infinite; there are several good things that can come out of it:
The ability to find and remove the genes for diseases.
The better understanding of how to cure minor diseases and/or eliminate them.
Therefore the significance of this research is great because many good things can come out of it.

The implication this research is that; with it, we will be able to better human life and help us live healthier, and more enjoyable lives. This Knowledge Question discusses Human Genetic Modification as if it is a current thing, The truth is that the research is only beginning, there is much more to with this research. This research can be connected to many different fields of science, for example, pharmacology. This knowledge of how to change the DNA of a Human can lead to the elimination of genetic diseases, such as neuropathy (a type of Dementia). this specific example deals with changing the mitochondrial DNA. On 24 October 2012 a study was published by Oregon Health & Science University biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov, about genetically modifying the mitochondrial DNA in human cells.
Three years Mitalipov sucsessfully created monkeys with genetic material from three parents, and he recently did the same with human cells.
The OHSU team described successfully transferring DNA from donor cells into other donor cells, fertilizing the eggs to create 13 tiny early embryos of roughly 100 cells each.
One of the keys to thus technique is the replacement of defective mitochondrial DNA with the DNA of another woman.
This research was pronounced ethical by a United Kingdom Review Board and is allowed in the US while not fedrally funded. Perspectives
Due to the possibilities that can arise from this research, where one can replace the mitochondrial DNA with other DNA that promotes muscle growth, or something else, the perspective of a military planner would most likely deem this genetic modification ethical.
However the creationist perspective would most likely deem this idea of genetically modifying human embryos as unethical due to the fact that it changes the human nature and can be considered a sin.
My personal opinion on this is that due to the fact that research boards have deemed the research ethical, i find the idea of genetically modifying humans in order to cure diseases to be entirely ethical. Perspectives:
A military General would find the genetic modification in this movie, despite the genetic discrimination, because the creation of enhanced super soldiers and how well they would do, outweighs the fact that it leads to genetic discrimination.
A Creationist would feel as if the creation of the children in a laboratory is against God's will and they will believe that it is a sin to create children this way.
My own perspective on this situation is I do not agree with the creation of Genetically enhanced human children in a laboratory, mainly due to the fact that it, in this situation, it leads to genetic discrimination of those created "The Old-fashioned way". Perspectives
It goes without saying that a military General would support this because of the capabilities of these soldiers.
I am not fully sure about what a Creationist would think of this, as it is only a select number of people, I do feel as if they would not support it because it is changing the human body in unnatural ways.
I like this idea as it would allow for a smaller military, which would decrease the number of casualties sustained in combat, because the super soldiers would be able to survive under more hardship than regular soldiers. Real Life Situation #1 Real Life Situation #2 Real Life Situation #3 Ethics and Emotion -Ethics are influenced by one's emotions , personal experiences, beliefs, and perceptions of a topic or situation.
A young mother encourages a young family member to get an abortion due to her experience as a young mother, her emotions toward being a young mother and her belief that young mothers aren't fit to raise children. The Two Main Perspectives in the “Savior Siblings” Knowledge Issue Doctor:
-Treating the sick child and trying to provide a solution based off of his or her scientific knowledge.

-The scientific knowledge leads to a treatment with ethical implications (i.e. the creation of a genetically perfect human in order to provide for another) Parent:
-Emotionally connected to the sick child and desperately seeking a treatment to save said child’s life.
-Makes the decision based off of what they believe is the best treatment for their child through reason and personal beliefs. Distinction between perspectives:
-The doctor’s decisions are based mostly on reason using science in order to find solutions.
-The parent’s decisions are based mostly on emotion and belief for what is best for their child. -They both are trying to lessen the suffering and pain of a living being. Another Real World Example Terri Schiavo Case
-Went in to cardiac arrest and suffered massive brain damage putting her in a coma for two and a half months when they then changed her diagnosis to a persistent vegetative state, which eventually turned into a permanent vegetative state.
-Many rehabilitation efforts made by her husband and family, all failed.
-Her husband said her wishes were to be allowed to die, her parents said she would want to live using prolonged life support.
- The two parties fought from the time of the diagnosis in 1990 until she was removed from life support in 2005.
-During the autopsy it was revealed that not only was she blind but, there was severe damage to every part of her brain and there was no way she could have ever recovered. Pro-life Activist Claim Although it is being used in the attempt of saving a life, the pro-life activist is completely against the idea of producing a human just for its body parts. The pro-life activist would protest against this act and the resulting research even if it would help countless people around the world. Counter Claim The medical researcher is under the opinion that the baby is like a tree that can be turned into a piece of wood to fix a stairway; it is just a piece of matter. But what makes us human is our consciousness and we are consciously making a life to kill, in order to harvest the organ. It is always morally wrong to kill an innocent. Counterclaim to MR By doing this “experiment” and attempting to save the sick child’s life, we are able to provide future knowledge about organ transplant rejection and improve the entire field of transplant medicine. This situation is not much different than having a miscarriage and losing the baby, except we are able to retrieve a valuable organ to try and save an already living child. That this is their beloved child that they have bonded with and will do everything they can to save its life. Conclusions Medical Researcher The Teri Schiavo Case - Three Perspectives Mike Schiavo (Husband)
-Used science to justify letting his wife go, according to her wishes because the science told him that she would not recover from the sate she was in.
-Even though he loved her and did not want to see her die, he believed that the ethical decision was to let her go. Parents Pro-life Activist Would agree to the idea of this being ethical because:
1. Wants to enhance human lives by making them healthier and stronger.
2. Through research of organ transplants from genetic matches we are able to learn how to significantly decrease organ rejection, which can save lives.
3. Does not consider a life wasted if used for good cause. Better to save a life, or many lives, at the cost of one. They do not care whether it ethical or not, because they don’t want to deal with the suffering of the loss of a known child versus the loss of the unknown. Robert and Mary Schindler (Parents)
-Used emotion and belief to make the ethical decision that they wanted to keep their daughter alive. Believes that it unethical because every life born or unborn is sacred. The perspective of an outsider – My mother
- The Schindlers were selfish in choosing to keep Teri alive when it was against her wishes.
-No person should have to live like that if they don’t want to and therefore it was the ethical responsibility of the parents to let her go as her husband was trying to do. Distinction between Perspectives:
-Mike Schiavo and my mother have similar ideas, although Mike’s decision was based off of his wife’s beliefs while my mother’s are based off of her own beliefs and perceptions.
-The Schindlers used their emotions and beliefs purely based off of their own perceptions of their daughter. Overall Conclusion Overall there is no single answer determining whether or not it is ethical to end a life in order to save another. Just because it can be done does not mean that it should be done, most societies find the slaughter of innocence to be unethical. Personal Example Parents Claim Three Perspectives My Mom:
She wanted to put Clara down, but because Clara was my cat she left the decision up to me. On one hand, she knows the science behind it, but she’s letting someone else make the decision of whether it was ethical or not to put her down. Counterclaim The Vet:
The vet suggested what she thought was best based off of the science telling her there was nothing left to do in order to improve her life. The family is trying to alter the natural course of life by extending the life of one that is has a fatal disease, by choosing to terminate the pregnancy of their designer child. Myself:
Even though Clara was my cat, I made the ethical decision that she needed to be put down based on my perception of her current quality of life, and taking into consideration the science, reason and my own emotions in making the best choice for her. Distinction between Perspectives:
-All perspectives are looking at what was best for the cat.
-The vet is looking at it from a more objective point of view because she didn’t have the emotional connection my mom and I had.
-My mom and I had very similar points of few, just her point of view involved letting me make the final decision, which ended up being what she herself would’ve chosen. Conclusion The sciences play only a part in justifying ethical decisions. Ethical decisions are made using a combination of the sciences, emotion, belief and reason. Claims and Counterclaims
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