Biotechnology Amendments

Josie Meade

So...What is Okay?

Science and technology are always ahead of the law. As of now, there aren't many rules on what you can and can't do in biotechnology. Even if some of these amendments are already assumed, it is important for us to recognize them to prevent confusion in the future. In short, the Constitution needs to include amendments about this very important topic in today's world.

Now for Those Amendments!

Amendment #1

Any animal or the owner of the animal being tested must give full consent for the procedure before it is begun.

Though this law may seem kind of obvious, it is very important that the person knows exactly what is being done to them or their pet. A good example of this rule being broken is the Henrietta Lacks story, in which a poor woman had cells taken from her and grown in a laboratory without her permission. These cells were discovered to be immortal and are often still used today. This was a violation of the amendment because her and her family did not know until over 20 years after her death.

Amendment #2

If artificial selection occurs, the other organisms must also be maintained and reproduced, so as to keep variation in the species.

In most cases, artificial selection has a positive influence on the species; either we get better crops, we avoid diseases, or we can evolve and thrive better as a whole. However, sometimes artificial selection can have negative affects on the species. Perhaps it is trying to eliminate a disease such as Mitochondrial disease, but it instead creates a new one. In this situation, it would be important to have this amendment in place to use the original organisms to avoid permanently embed this disease in the genes of the species.

Amendment #3

No two twins should ever be separated at birth under any circumstances, or until they are of age to give their consent.

Many studies were done in the '60s and '70s in which twins would be separated at birth or otherwise very young. Though these studies are very interesting and lots can be learned from them, it is now regarded as unethical and wrong. Therefore, this amendment is to make sure it does not happen again.

Amendment #4

Any animal or the owner of the animal being tested on must be given some sort of reward for their participation in the experiment.

Often times, people or the owners of animals being tested on do not get fair compensation for taking part in studies and experiments. This amendment is to ensure that whoever is being tested on is paid or otherwise rewarded for taking part in any kind of biotechnological testing.