Time may bring new research to light that allays the medical concerns that germline genome modification present. But no matter what new advances come with germline modification, its medical use can never involve informed consent. And such nonconsensual use cannot be ethically sound.
Before pundits and politicians reduce the questions and solutions posed by GE crops and GE agribusiness down to sound bytes and slogans, we must realize just how powerfully positive the effects of genetically engineering our food can be if handled correctly.
But in order to actually reach that end, where we as a culture cease to view most animals as means to our ends, we need to push past the limits of Singer’s arguments and take a more rights-oriented approach to our fellow animals.
In the interest of increasing patient autonomy, opening the doors to true forms of euthanasia goes too far. Physician-assisted suicide, therefore, exists as the only viable option. Ethically indistinguishable (at worst) from current medical practices, dying with dignity needs to become a legally acceptable option for terminally ill people.
So in the grand scheme of things, small groups of faith-healing fundamentalists do not pose a threat to public health. Trying to coerce those groups to violate their religious beliefs, therefore, cannot be reasonably necessary to curb the re-emergence of vaccine-preventable disease. The opposite holds true, though, for anti-vaxxers who abuse philosophical vaccine exemptions.
The absolute best option for the FDA in the case of 23andMe is to consider medical processes using medical devices as inherent enough in those devices to warrant their regulatory oversight.
Super Tuesday columnists Johnathan Bowes ’15 and Matthew ’18 take on the hot button political issues of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Bowes argues that if developed ethically and with respect to landowners and Native American nations, the pipeline is a net positive for the US. Cohen suggests that the risk of affecting the American water supply and the overall increased production of oil should make us wary.
At this point, though, shouting “Shut it down for Michael Brown!” while parading through shopping malls in St. Louis or while chained to the BART train is a fairly meaningless and insignificant act. Protesting against a grand jury’s decision as a way to achieve some sort of betterment for the situation of black people vis-à-vis violence or the police will ultimately change nothing about those situations.