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Americans are Worried about the Future of Medical Science

Americans are Worried about the Future of Medical Science
August 01
13:20 2016

Most of my recent articles have focused on science-fiction-like medical technologies that promise to advance mankind’s natural form. According to a new poll by Pew Research Center, most Americans are not excited about these burgeoning technologies.

When it comes to imminent technologies like brain chip implants and designer babies, the majority of US citizens are worried; in fact, many believe these theories shouldn’t even be studied.

Survey results show that the majority of the American public feels suspicious regarding “biomedical enhancement.” More than 50% said they were concerned about gene editing (for disease-free and “edited” babies), synthetic blood transfusions (which would give humans greater stamina and strength), and brain chip implants (for cognitive enhancement).

According to the survey, Americans feel less skeptical when it comes to gene editing for the sole purpose of eradicating disease – but many said that they would not want to enhance their own mental or physical abilities with technology.

A full 70% worry that these technologies will be implemented before scientists fully understand the risks.

There are many moral and ethical questions associated with gene editing. The Pew survey revealed that over 70% of Americans think gene editing would lead to an increase in inequality.

Imagine a world in which the wealthy can design their babies to be disease-free and beautiful, while the middle and lower classes are stuck with “normal” babies.

Some respondents oppose gene editing on a more religious level, expressing the concern that mankind is “meddling with nature.”

Such concerns are not prevalent in countries like China, which recently approved human trials for CRISPR gene editing and the United Kingdom, which recently sanctioned the genetic modification of human embryos.

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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