Genetic Engineering - Programmable Humans


  • Mahmoud El Mabrouk University of Waterloo
  • Zahra Mohamed University of Waterloo



Genetic engineering, Eugenics, Germline editing, Consent, Warfare


Within the last 50 years, the idea of genetic engineering to modify the human genome has surfaced, becoming an extremely revolutionary yet highly controversial topic. With rapid advances in genetic research, the machinery used to perform such gene-editing procedures has already been developed; genetically mutating humans is now possible. The question is no longer “Can we” but now, “Should we”. The ethical concerns surrounding this issue have been thoroughly discussed in the science community, causing widespread debate on whether research should be allowed in this field of study. Many scientists believe that research in this field should be encouraged to further study genetic diseases, different means of reproduction, and other life-altering concepts such as physiological and psychological enhancement. On the other hand, many believe such research should be completely prohibited as these practices can potentially become extremely problematic due to the predicted and unknown implications that could be faced as a result of genetic engineering. Never before have we had such power and control over our own biological makeup. Considering that human lives are at risk under these practices, germline genetic engineering should be universally prohibited as it is unethical, unsafe, and medically unnecessary.