Gene doping refers to nontherapeutic application of genetic elements and genes or changing an individuals gene expressions artificially with efforts to boost efficient performance for the athletes. Research predicts that most athletes opt using gene doping despite the fact that there are no procedures to detect the practice and thus this exercise will be a considerable challenge in future. Gene doping is a dangerous practice as it entails the gene delivery systems such as viruses which could trigger health issues. The genes delivered may be placed in between some of the essential genes, and this could result in cancer or other health disorders. However, some athletes still do not mind taking risks involved in this practice (Brzezianska et al. 251).
Is gene doping unethical?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) banned gene doping in 2003.The organization believed that the practice would be lethal and unfair. Introducing the EPO gene into the human body would result in many red blood cells being produced and thus the human blood would thicken and become sludge. Most of the international sports administering authorities have also banned the use of gene doping by the athletes as it is against the law. Doctors or scientists who inject the genes into healthy athletes violate professional ethics (Spaaij et al. 403). Gene doping not only violates the integrity of the sports but also break the sports spirit and creates coercive pressure on the athletes that are competing without undertaking the procedure. Gene doping is therefore considered risky, unfair and unethical and should be banned.
Performance-enhancing drugs versus gene doping
Sports ethics is subservient to the medical ethics, for instance, a sports physician is not supposed to prescribe performance-enhancing drugs to the athlete unless he or she requires such drugs to alleviate some illness. According to Brzezianska et al. (251), the situation is not clear as it is hard for a physician to decide on the best technique to treat the athlete, more like a patient or more like an athlete. If the athlete vastly contributes to the sports industry and career and is more than ready and willing to undertake any health sacrifices to yield productive results in sports, he or she can access gene doping. It is therefore in the athletes patients best will and interest to receive any form of treatment which would make them well for the sport and life as well.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs is considered unethical, and thus the use of doping agents should also be regarded as immoral in the sports industry. The international sports organizations must protect athletes spiritual and physical health as well as the values they incorporate in the competitions. Spaaij et al. (409) postulate that the sports bodies should ensure the unity and integrity of the sports and the rights of participants are upheld despite the levels. The sports committee views that the performance-enhancing drugs should be abolished since they can distort the health of the athletes, whether the athletes who decide to ignore the risks or the sportsmen who take them for recreational enhancement and purposes.
The use of doping agents and performance enhancement drugs should be curbed because the athletes using them try to unfairly gain an added advantage over the athletes who choose to maintain their normal health. Fischetto, Giuseppe, and Stephane (969) assert that the athletes who opt for these procedures are cheating as the application of both doping agents and performance enhancement drugs violate the sporting federations rules and regulations. Some athletes, however, claim that they unknowingly undertake this procedure as given by their coaches as supplements without being told what they entail. Such an occurrence can only be described as naivety which is unethical as drugs are in the public eye and thus its hard for an athlete to convince that he or she is unaware of a possibility of drugs consumption.
Would the widespread practice of gene doping be morally permissible?
One of the most significant concerns about the widespread use of gene doping is whether or not this exercise should be morally permissible. Most individuals argue that genetically and drug-enhanced athlete is likely to have a more competitive advantage compared to his or her unenhanced competitors, which is indeed unfair and immoral. Van der Grande, Toon, et al. (672) explain that the moral argument against the practice of gene doping has fatal flaws does not hold much weight. It is always the case that some of the athletes have a better gene endorsement compared to others naturally, which is not considered a factor of undermining the competitive nature and morality of sports.
From a moral standpoint, the enhanced genes would not be any different from the natural ones, basing on the assumption that the improved genes are safe and made available to all athletes. Therefore genetic enhancement in sports is morally permissible.
Would widespread practice of gene change and exceptional athletic performance
Gene doping is vastly damaging the value of sports and it is not only an issue to the sports industry but also a significant concern for human beings as well. The athletes performance can only be regarded as exaggerated and unjust especially if the athlete embraces the practice of gene doping. Most individuals feel that the athletes that undertake the procedure do not give the actual results as compared to those who maintain regular health (Spaaij et al. 411). The exceptional performance, therefore, is regarded as cheating which is immoral and unethical and thus could only distort the sports industry further.
The exceptional performance of the athletes who practice gene mapping is portrayed as a mockery of a pure, untainted athlete and this makes such athletes appear fake and dependent, and not talented. Gene doping creates ethical dilemmas and the practice is universally condemned. An athlete who embraces this tradition should, therefore, be banned as they only aim at acquiring added benefits and advantages over those who choose to compete using natural and clean methods (Fischetto, Giuseppe & Stephane 971). The athletes who go for gene enhancement might give excellent results, but they appear unwell to the society as this practice poses many health hazards, which further distorts sports as a career.
Genetic enhancement techniques divide society into two unequal social classes?
Typically the range of opportunities for an individual largely depends on the degree and type of capacities they possess. Having an equal share of the chance of accessing genetic enhancement requires that an individual is financially enhanced as these procedures need a lot of money to be complete. Genetic enhancement techniques, therefore, results into two unequal social classes within our societies as these services can only be accessed by those that are financially endowed and this could trigger dissatisfaction and conflicts (Van der Grande, Toon, et al. 675). The athletes who can access the service have more significant competitive advantages compared to those who are less well-off and unenhanced, and this could result in divisions in the sports industry.
Should scientific research into genetic enhancement be banned?
Genetic enhancement has raised many ethical, social and legal concerns. The questions majorly relate to the primary aspects of gene enhancement which seek to address the fact that genetic improvement could undermine the concept of social equality in the globe and the concern that genetic enhancement can establish unequal advantages that can only be enjoyed by the enhance people. Some individuals feel that the genetic improvement should be banned as it could affect the evolution of the human species. Van der Grande, Toon, et al. (678) further claims that both religious and philosophical objections have been raised rooted on the belief that intervening in such biological procedures is mocking God and a human attempt to place themselves above God.
Many individuals also believe that interfering with offerings of nature is wrong and thus genetic enhancement should be banned. However, in general, the social and ethical concerns about this process do not hold much weight as the geneticists argue that there lacks any certainty that the individual who opts to enhance their genes have better biological fitness by measuring the reproductive success. Fischetto, Giuseppe, and Stephane (975) argue that the distinction between enhancement and cure losses meaning in the medical filed and thus genetic enhancement should not be banned.
Brzezianska, Ewa, Daria Domanska, and Anna Jegier. "Gene doping in sportperspectives and risks." Biology of sport 31.4 (2014): 251.
Fischetto, Giuseppe, and Stephane Bermon. "From gene engineering to gene modulation and manipulation: can we prevent or detect gene doping in sports?" Sports Medicine 43.10 (2013): 965-977.
Spaaij, Ramen, Karen Farquharson, and Timothy Marjoribanks. "Sport and social inequalities." Sociology Compass 9.5 (2015): 400-411.
Van der Gronde, Toon, et al. "Gene doping: an overview and current implications for athletes." Br J Sports Med 47.11 (2013): 670-678.
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