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Taking sides Assignment

Biology 1090 Timmins

Is Genetic Enhancement an Unacceptable Use of
Zach Robinson
October 12, 2014

1. Summary of the yes side.

Michael J. Sandel is a political philosopher who stands by the yes side that
genetic enhancement is unacceptable. He suggests that genetic enhancement is
wrong because it makes us better than we normally are. He claims that genetic
enhancement is a flawed attempt at overcoming certain diseases and flaws in the
human body that were just meant to be (Levine, 2012). Sandel argues that genetic
enhancement diminishes the gift of life. He presented facts about the off label
growth hormones that are given to kids to make them taller and how they are taken
for no actual medical reason, just for the parents own personal reasoning. Another
example that Sandel presented was the use of a drug to help prevent Alzheimers in
people who were genetically linked to inherit the disease.

2. Summary of the no side.
The no side of this argument is presented by a man named Howard Trachtman. He
is a physician and he argues that genetic enhancements are a never-ending quest
for people to who seek to be healthy, healthier than what they were genetically
given (Levine 2012). He views genetic enhancements as a positive embark that the
medical faction and even the general population should welcome. The facts he
presents include that whenever new medical advancements are made, there are
always going to be people who are skeptical, as there should be. The ideas are new
and the medications are imperfect. There is an opinion presented that suggests that
we as people are always looking for advances in education and technology, so why
should the advancement of genes be looked at any differently?
3. My opinion on the matter.
I personally believe that genetic enhancements can be a good thing and a bad thing.
The reason it is a good thing is because it can be used to deny the effects of
Alzheimers or dementia as we age. My mom is a genetic counselor and she looks at
childrens genes and explains them to the parents. She technically doesnt do
anything having to do with genetic enhancement, but she still works with genes. The
reason as to why genetic enhancements could be bad is because it clearly alters
something in the bodys system. You are built the way you are because of your
parents/grandparents/great grandparents genes. If that is altered, such as growth
hormones, you could be altering it for good. Not saying that being tall is a bad thing,
but I believe growth hormones should be given only when necessary. For example,
my girlfriends little brother is 7 years old and he is the size of a 4 year old. He is in
the 1% for kids his age. He doesnt mind being small, he actually embraces it and
enjoys being smaller than everyone else because he is faster in soccer and more
limber in gymnastics. Their mom has been talking to doctors and they want to put
him on growth hormones, but she wont agree to do it until he wants to. That is just
bad genes, the mom is 52 and the dad is 56, my girlfriend is 58 though, therefore
she received the taller genes from either side. For reasons like that I can see growth
hormones and other gene modifications/enhancements as being ok, but if used in
the wrong situation I think that it could evolve into a bigger deal. If everyone took
growth hormones, and it was going on for generations, the new average height could
jump by 6 inches or more.

Work Cited
Levine. (2012). Biology 1090, Human Biology SLCC - Taking Sides readings (p. 20-


I believe that this assignment was rather challenging. It didnt require too much
time to complete, but I struggle with writing papers. I end up writing a good
paper usually, it just takes me some time to sit down and get all of my thoughts
out onto paper. All in all I believe this assignment is a good example of my work
and shows what I have learned not only from the reading, but also what I have
learned from my writing class when it comes to piecing a paper together and
showing other peoples arguments.