SHAPING GENES:

Ethics, Law and Science of Using New Genetic Technology in Medicine and Agriculture

Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D. Eubios Ethics Institute 1990


Copyright1990, Darryl R. J. Macer. All commercial rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced for limited educational or academic use, however please enquire with the author.

Contents

Preface x

1. Is There A Problem? 1

New Technology 1
The Gene Scare 3
Outline 6

2. Genes and Life 10

The Advent of Molecular Biology 10
DNA and Genes 11
Genetic Technology 13
Human Genetic Disease 16

3. General Ethical Concerns 21

The Use of Nature 21

What is Nature? 21

Different Views of Nature 21
Dynamic Nature 23
A Christian View of Stewardship 24

Playing God 27
Interfering With Nature 28
Integrity of Species 28

Reducing Genetic Diversity 30
Slippery Slopes 33
Biological Warfare 34
Public Perception of Science 35

Public Attitudes to Science 35
Public Support for Biotechnology 37
Public Participation in Decision Making 43
Education 43
Government Commissions on Genetic Engineering 44

4. Medical Ethics, History &Culture 45

The Hippocratic Tradition 45

A Profession 47
Philantropy 49
Do no harm 50

Adoption of the Oath by Western Medicine 53
Competing Ethical Traditions 58
Retaining the Hippocratic Oath 62

5. Status of the Human Embryo 63

Human Embryonic Development 63
Ethics through Embryo Development 65

Fertilisation 67
The First Two Weeks 67
Implantation and Formation of the Primitive Streak 68
The Fetus and Feeling Pain 69
Personhood 70

What is a Person? 70
The Soul and Ensoulment 71
The Beginning of Personhood 74

Workable Criteria Respecting Embryo Status 76
Abortion Laws 77
Scientific Research on Human Embryos 81

Experimental Goals of Human Embryo Research 81

Alleviation of Infertility 82
Toxicity Testing 83
Embryo Splitting 83
Human Development 84
Development of Contraceptives 84

How Much Human Embryo Experimentation is Ethical? 85
Regulations are Required 87

Brain Grafts from Aborted Fetuses 91

6. Animal Rights 96

Making New Strains of Animal 96
Ethical Limits of Animal Use 98

Religious Views of Animal Status 99
Philosophical Views of Animal Status 100

Regulations 106

7. Applied Genetic Engineering 109

Industrial Applications of GMOs 109

Microbial Production of Biochemicals 109

Protein Engineering 109
Production of Chemicals 109
Medical Drugs, Proteins and Vaccines 110
Use of Fungi 111

Using Plants and Animals 111

Mammalian Cell Culture 111
Plant Cell Culture 111

Use of Whole Plants 111
Biopolymers 112
Animals as Bioreactors 112
Production of Biomass 113

Agricultural Uses of Plant Genetic Engineering 113

Expanding Plant Breeding 113
Plant Disease Resistance 114
Pest-Resistant Plants 116

Biocontrol 116
Insecticidal Proteins 116
Digestive Inhibitors 117
Insecticidal Microorganisms 117

Herbicide Tolerance and Weed Control 117
Better Crop Varieties 119

Tolerance of Environmental Extremes 119
Nitrogen Fixation 120
Improved Nutritional Qualities 120
Widening Consumer Choice 121
Ornamental Plants 121
Other Plant Properties 121

Extending Animal Breeding 122

Animal Genetic Engineering 122
Sex Selection 124
Embryo Splitting 124

Environmental Applications of Microorganisms 125

8. Environmental Safety of GMOs 127

Risks from Laboratory Applications 127

Guidelines for Contained Genetic Engineering 128

Field Release of GMOs 130

Degradation of Pollutants 131
Bacterial Mining 132
Nitrogen Fixation 132
Ice Nucleation and Microorganisms 133
Vaccines 134
Biological Pesticides 135
Transgenic Plant Field Trials 137
Release of Animals 138

Persistence of GMOs 139
Transfer of Genes 141

Antibiotic Resistance 142
Eucaryote/Procaryote Transfer 143
Dispersal of Gene Vectors 144
Examples of Gene Transfer During Field Trials 145
Reducing Risks of Transfer 146

Potential Ecological Effects 147

Resistance to Introduced Genes 150

Optimal Procedure 151

9. Regulations for GMOs 152

Viewing the Product Only 152

Exemptions for GMOs with gene deletions? 154

Case by Case Risk Modelling 155

Public Participation 157

International Regulations 159
Applications to Release GMOs 163

Challenges Facing Regulators 166
Financial Liability for Damage 166

Food Safety & Consumer Rejection 167

Novel Foodstuffs 167
Public Acceptance of New Foodstuffs 170
Better Products? 174

10. Commercialisation 176

Biotechnology Companies 176
Agricultural Implications 179
Patenting of Life 180

Public Attitudes to Patenting 183
The Ethics of Patenting Animals 184
Patenting of Genetic Material 184

Third World Interests 186

11. Human Reproduction 188

Birth Control Policies 188

Methods of Birth Control 188
Should We Use Contraception? 192

Infertility 194

Is Infertility a Medically Treatable Disease? 194
Methods Involving the Married Couple Only 195

Should IVF be Publicly Funded 200
Eligibility 201

The Use of Extramarital Gametes 203
Surrogacy 208
Avoid Risks of Harm to Children 209

Changing Family Structure 210

12. Selective Human Breeding 214

Natural Genetic Selection 214
Eugenics in Antiquity 215
Eugenics in Modern Times 217

Sterilisation Programs 220
Nazi Eugenics 222
The Decline of Eugenics 223
Changing the Dominance of the Genes 225

Control of Reproduction 226

Sterilisation of the Mentally Incompetent 228
Genetic Disease is not Evenly Spread 230
Common Themes 231

The Quality of Life 232

13. Genetic Screening and Selection 236

Genetic Screening With DNA Probes 236
Postnatal Genetic Screening 239
Prenatal Genetic Screening 242
Genetic Counseling 245

What Diseases? 247
Prenatal Diagnosis Without Abortion 255

Reproductive Choice 256

Can Society Limit Genetic Freedom? 258
Sex Selection 260
Genetic Selection for Nondisease Should be Illegal 261

Privacy of Genetic Information 264
DNA Fingerprinting 270

14. Human Gene Therapy 272

Gene Therapy is Another Medical Therapy 272

Protein Replacement 273
Dietary Treatment 274
Tissue Transplantation 275
Somatic Cell Gene Therapy 276

Diseases Suitable for Gene Therapy? 276

First Approved Trial 276
Enzyme Deficiencies 277
Multiple Gene Disorders 280
Fetal Gene Therapy 281

Results of Animal Gene Therapy 282

Inserting Organoids 284

Ethics of Somatic Cell Gene Therapy 285

Government Guidelines 286
Efficacy of Treatment 287
Safety of Transferred Genes 287
Experimentation and Protecting Human Life 288
Alleviation of Suffering 290
Affect on Family Life 291
Economic Factors 291
Public Attitudes and Fears of Genetic Engineering 292
When We Should Use Gene Therapy? 293

15. Human Genetic Engineering 295

Genetic Selection 296
Germ-line Gene Therapy 298

Techniques for Germ-line Alteration 299

Microinjection of Eggs and Zygotes 299
Embryonic Stem Cell Lines 301

Health and Disease 301

Carriers of Harmful Alleles May Be "Healthier" 302
Spontaneous Mutations Will Continue to Occur 303

Ethics of Germline Genetic Engineering 304

We Already Change the Genes of Children 304
Consumer Children 306
Slaves to the New Technology 307
Protecting Future Generations 308 <

Cloning 313

Techniques for "Cloning" 314
Ethical Concerns 314

Human Genome Projects 316

The Scientific Approach 317
Coordinated Data-Sharing is Required 318
Ethical Implications 321
Fears of Genetic Determinism 322

Our Future Obligations 323

16. Bioethics for the Future 325

Medical Ethics and Genethics 325

Professionalism 325

What Ethical Principles? 329

Beneficience 331
Respect for Human Life and Autonomy 332
Justice 332
Confidentiality 333
Proportionality 334
Legislation or Consultation 334
Universal Approaches 335

Sustainable Living 336

Sustainable Agriculture 337

Controlled Progress 339

New Possibilities should be Pursued 345
Changing Our Perspectives 345

Genetic Engineering is a Catalyst for Bioethics 346


Bibliography 348

Glossary 393

Index 409


National Library of New Zealand
Cataloging-in-Publication data

Macer, Darryl R. J. (Darryl Raymund Johnson), 1962-
Shaping Genes : ethics, law and science of using new genetic technology in medicine and agriculture / Darryl R.J. Macer.
Christchurch, N.Z. : Eubios Ethics Institute, 1990.
1 v.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-908897-00-6
1. Genetic Engineering--Moral and ethical aspects. 2. Biotechnology--Moral and ethical aspects. 3. Bioethics. I. Eubios Ethics Institute. II. Title.
174.9574

Key Words: Animal Rights, Bioethics, Birth Control, Embryo Research, Eugenics, Field Release of GMOs, Genetic Counseling, Genetic Engineering, Genetic Intervention, Genetic Screening, Genetic Therapy, Genetically Modified Organisms, Hippocrates, Human Genome Project, Medical Ethics, Patenting of Life, Reproductive Technology, Risk Evaluation, Sex selection, Sustainable Agriculture.

Further copies can be obtained by ordering from the Eubios Ethics Institute,
Prof. Darryl Macer,
Email asianbioethics@yahoo.co.nz

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