Biotechnology and Bioethics

By: John H., Taylor K., Madison O., and Ashley B.


Biotechnology is a necessary advancement for the evolution of humanity through both medical and non-medical uses, but regulations are necessary to ensure ethical practices.

Medical Applications

  • Recombinant DNA for gene therapy
  • Production of new organs using stem cells
  • Cloning as a solution for infertility
  • Biologically regenerative medicines
  • "Regenerative medicine... constructs replacement parts, such as cells, tissues and organs, which substitute for the malfunctioning biological system” (Ganchoff).

Non-Medical Applications

  • Muscular enhancement for increased athletics
  • Enhanced cognitive capabilities (memory, reaction time, etc.)
  • Designer children - Parents can choose genetic traits of children such as intelligence, strength, aesthetics
  • Designer children raise questions to the ethics of genetic alteration. Is it ethical for us to decide the fate of children?


  • All medical advancements must be pursued to help save lives and progress biological sciences and understanding
  • Medical applications, though many are still primitive, are already in use to save lives
  • Medical applications of genetic alteration can also increase resistance to viruses and disease, saving untold millions of lives
  • Non-Medical applications of genetic alteration must be pursued for social and technological progress, though it must be carefully regulated to avoid abuse
  • Designer children may cause an egocentric society where parents blame children as being defective
  • If not regulated properly, society may split into those who are genetically altered and those who are not, the prior being superior in caste

Works Cited

Comfort, Nathaniel. "A New Eugenics." Nation 301.31 (2015): 27. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Ganchoff, Chris. "Eugenic undergrounds: stem cells and human futures." New Formations 60 (2007): 112 . Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Henry, Michael. "Biotechnology and the reconstruction of humanity." Modern Age 52.2 (2010): 125+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Hourigan, Daniel. "Biotech fantasia." Borderlands 6.1 (2007). Student Resources in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.

Ives, Jonathan, and Michael Dunn. "Who's Arguing? A Call For Reflexivity In Bioethics." Bioethics 24.5 (2010): 256-265.Consumer Health Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

LaPensee, Kenneth Travis. "Bioethics." Biotechnology: In Context. Ed. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2012. In Context Series. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Miller, Henry I. "The human cost of anti-science activism." Policy Review 154 (2009): 65+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Tsosie, Rebecca, and Joan L. McGregor. "Genome justice: genetics and group rights." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics Fall 2007: 352+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.