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Gene Therapy
1. Facts/Problem

  • What are the facts?

    Gene therapy is currently an experimental procedure that involves the intentional transfer of genetic material into human cells in for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.

  • Is there a problem/issue?

    Gene therapy is not completely safe treatment option, for instance if the DNA is integrated in the wrong place in the genome, it it could even induce a tumor. Deaths as the result of gene therapy have already occurred. Also, what is a genetic dysfuntion or disorder, and who decides which ones get treated? Are disabilities diseases also? Do they need to be cured or prevented? Does searching for a cure demean the lives of individuals presently affected by disabilities? Is this playing God? Gene therapy is very expensive currently. Who will have access to these therapies? Who will pay for their use?

  • How did it begin and what are its causes?

    Gene therapy was first conceptualized in 1972, with the authors urging caution before commencing gene therapy studies in humans. The first FDA-approved gene therapy experiment in the United States occurred in 1990. Since then, over a thousand experimental trials have been conducted using a number of techniques for gene therapy.

  • What changed to create the problem/issue?

    Scientists have been looking of a cure for genetic diseases and because genetic engineering in plants is somewhat sucessful, they wanted to see if they could treat disfunctional human cells.

2. Definition

  • What is the definition of the problem/issue?

    An eating disorder is a complex and and can turn into a long-term illness that is caused my many external and internal factors.

  • What exactly is the nature of the problem/issue?

    Gene therapy is in its early development phase, and it will take lots of years and lots of researches before gene therapy can be used appropriately for treating diseases.

  • To what larger class of things or events does it belong?

    Gene therapy is currently being tested by scientists in the United States and I am focusing my research paper on the US but gene thereapy will effect the entire world if perfected. People who suffer from genetic diseases such as breast cancer or cystic fibrosis can be cured.

3. Quality/Value

  • Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

    For humans with genetic diseases or parents that carry genes that will likely result in hereditary genetic disorders it is a very good thing. Gene therapy offers a way for people to correct the genes that have deficincies without taking harmful medications or invasive surgeries.

  • How serious is the problem/issue?

    It is a health/medical/scientific issue that can affect a persons live. If this is the cure to genetic diseases less deaths and suffering in the world will occur.

  • Whom might it affect?

    Gene therapy wil affect everyone with a genetic disorder, parents who carry genes, and family members and friends who know someone with a genetic dysfunction.

  • What happens if we don’t do anything?

    People will continue to die from genetic diseases the the costly procedures and medication that come along with it.

  • What are the costs of solving the problem/issue?

    Genetic therapy is currenlty in an experimental stage so the procedure is very expensive, especially since your dealy with copying and replacing defective genes inside a humans cell.

4. Action/Policy

  • Should action be taken?

    Yes, action should be taken to advance this research.

  • Who should be involved in helping to solve the problem/address the issue?

    Everyone. Scientists, doctors, politicians, celebrities, influential people, the news, friends and family should all become involved to raise awareness about the vast posibilities of genetic engineering. The health insurance companies should also become involved and cover gene therapy.



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