TECHNOLOGY WILLSAVE OUR MINDS AND BODIESBy: Laura Hanousek
Controversial, Ethical, and Moral Issues• Over the past 300 years amazing improvements have been made in medical technologies• Modern medical technologies have provided new hope. People no longer accept death as a result of God’s plan, instead we expect that a cure will be developed in time to spare our lives (Volti, 6th Edition)• Medical advances have made possible prevention of disease, replacement and transplanting of organs, and major surgeries.• With these procedures comes controversial, ethical and moral questions, concerns and difficulties.• Throughout this presentation we will visit preimplantation genetic diagnosis, transplanting and developing organs, major surgeries and the issues surrounding all three of these medical technological advances.
What is Preimplantation Genetic Diagnoses?• Developed in the early 1900s• Technique used to identify genetic defects in embryos.• Currently the only option available to avoid having a child with a genetic disease.• Process typically used to screen out embryos carrying genetic disease.• Procedure used for “family balancing” (controlling the number of male and/or female offspring in a family) (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2012)
Procedure• Sperm and egg are joined in a laboratory dish• Single cell is removed from the embryo and tested• Cell biopsy is performed at 3-4 days after fertilization• Genetic material is analysed• Based on results parents can choose which embryo to implant• Embryos are implanted by in vitro fertilization• PGD is typically accompanied by hormone treatment (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2012)
Why was it developed?• For when parents (one or both) have a known genetic abnormality and they do not want to pass it down to their offspring• Provides an alternative to post conception diagnostic procedures which are followed by a difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy if the results are unfavourable.• To increase the chance of pregnancy, reducing the risk of miscarriage, and improve the overall chances of bringing home a happy, healthy baby. (Medscape, 2012) (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2012)
What are they testing for?• Single celled gene disorders, and chromosome gene disorders that do not run in the family such as: Down syndrome, turner syndrome.• Chromosome and gene disorders that do run in the family such as: cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular dystrophy.• HLA (human leukocyte antigen) status which is testing for healthy bone marrow that matches another family members.• Gender (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2012)
Should couples be allowed to…• Test for gender -> purely for gender preference?• Test for bone marrow ->Match to a family member that is immunological??• Test embryos for gene mutations that indicate a higher risk of developing disease such as hereditary breast cancer???Someday in the future parents will be able to test for: • Intelligence • Height • Mild diseases
Cost and Future Trends…. ?• A round of in vitro fertilization costs approximately $9000• PGD costs an additional $4000-$7500 for each attempt• Standard round of INF has a 10-35% success rate depending on the age and health of the couple.• As a result of these high costs, genetic disorders could one day become a stigma effecting only the lower class. Should the upper class be permitted to completely formulate theiroffspring?? What would be the positive and negative effects of this? To name a few… Positive Negative • Genetic disease and • Boy to girl ratio, in some cancer would be a areas boys are more thing of the past desired • Upper, middle, and lower class would be spread further apart
Who qualifies for a liver transplant?• If a patient has abused their body with substance abuse to the point that they are in need of a new liver should they be able to receive a new one? What if they are wealthy enough to buy one?• Chemotherapy drugs are toxins designed to kill cancer cells.. However they may also cause severe liver damage. Should these patients be at the top of the list for a liver transplant?• The liver is unlike most organs in that it can regenerate.• Up to 75% of a liver can be destroyed and the organ can regenerate and recover.• The liver has over 500 functions, and is the second most commonly transplanted major organ. (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2012)
The kidney is the most commonly transplantedmajor organ…• The function of kidneys is removing metabolic wastes from the blood and diluting them with water and electrolytes to form urine.• A person with kidney failure would experience fluid retention, high blood pressure, toxin build up and lack of red blood cells (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2012)• There is a massive shortage of kidney donations, and approximately 70,000 people will die in the United States each year awaiting a transplant (WebMD, 2012)• Since there is such a shortage, the only other option is to medically grow them.. right?
Engineering Organs aka Organ Farming…• Although still in the research stage regenerative medicine technology could be the solution for patients with injuries, or end-stage organ failure.• Patients who undergo organ transplants require extreme toxic drugs to suppress their immune systems otherwise it is probable that their will reject the organ.• Tissue engineering could make organ transplants a thing of the past, By custom making organs for patients with their own cells. (Halley, 2009)
Major Surgeries• The development of safe and efficient general anesthesia and prescription drugs has greatly reduced the level of pain patients undergo during and after a major surgery.• The medical advances in surgery have offset the number one killer in the United States- Cardiovascular disease.• It used to be that people with weakened hearts and clogged arteries would ultimately die of heart attach or stroke sooner rather than later.• Now-a-days bypass surgery is a common procedure. 94% of patients who had the surgery were still alive 5 years later.• Once the development of artificial hearts has been perfected, bypass surgery could be a thing of the past….. But it will come with a substantial price tag. (Volti, 6th Edition)
Bypass Surgery Procedure• Bypass surgery is used to treat heart disease when the coronary arteries have a blockage. The coronary arteries bring blood to the heart muscle. A blockage in the coronary artery can cause heart failure, heart attacks, angina, and sudden death.• Bypass surgery is where a blood vessel is removed and redirected from your chest legs or arms and placed around the area or areas (up to 4 areas can be bypassed) of obstructed veins to "bypass" the blockages and restore blood flow to the heart muscle.
Self Inflicted?• A blocked coronary artery is often caused by high fat salty diets including foods such as: cakes, butter, cream, fatty meats etc.• Other causes of heart disease are: smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.• Most of these causes can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle, so many of these surgeries could have ultimately been avoided, saving millions of dollars in healthcare costs. (WebMD, 2012)• Knowing that these medical advances exist, and that bypass surgery is a common method of repair, do people use that as an excuse?• If patients had to pay for bypass surgeries would they make more of an effort to live a healthier lifestyle?
Preserving Life• Due to the constant advances in medical technology humans are living longer, and healthier lives than ever before. We are more aware of the negative repercussions of an unhealthy lifestyle and poor personal hygiene.• How much longer will people be having babies the old fashioned way instead of in a petri dish?• I don’t agree that people should be able to CHOOSE the sex of their child, but I do agree that parents should be able to test for chromosomal abnormalities preconception, to avoid passing down a genetic disease.• I think that regardless of organ engineering we should keep in mind that our organs are not disposable, we should preserve the ones we have, and save the engineered ones for people who truly need them.• Medical technology is remarkable, but lets take responsibility for what we have control over, and not leave it up to science.
ConclusionNow that we’ve come to the conclusion that medical technology helps topreserve life resulting in longer life expectancies, what are some of thepositive and negative effects of this on society? To name a few…Positive Negative• Senior population will be healthier • Older, retired population, unable to work, than ever before shortage of pensions, ratio of retired• An increase in generations being people to working people alive at the same time • Crowded retirement facilities• Women focus on a career prior to • Shortage of doctors to care for aging having children population• Aging population and developing medical technology has created jobs In my opinion the positive effects of medical technology outweigh the negative effects by far because many preventable deaths have been avoided , as well as the quality of life has been improved, not only for people with medical illness, but for the rest of the population as well.
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