Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

doctor 2019.jpg

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Ándrew Suguru Sato, a 20 year old and a first-year medical student. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


A little history of medical ethics. It is first coming from the bioethics post second world war that is incorporated in medicine after some American medical university was analyzed, and today the discussion is about impact of the new technology. Which is difficult to discuss with some person who do not have opened mind. For example, this Sunday I was at relative meeting and I heard from my aunt: “oh, my goodness, now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, where is the ethic?”

In this exactly moment I think: First the 4 values of medical ethics are beneficence, not maleficence, autonomy and justice. This doctor is making a beneficence (which come from Latin bonum facere what means do the good for patient) because it will avoid many diseases. It not making maleficence, because is not attacking the patient so much that the baby will be born normally. Is not injuring autonomy because, probably he has the authorization from his parents being that the baby doesn’t has decision power yet. And the only one thing he is not having is the justice. But even in this principle, if this project Is only pilot project, he is not injuring the medical ethics, because he does not have to be fair, equitable and universal. So, I said it to my aunt, then I heard I will be the worse doctor. Okay, I said when she needs me, I will not help, that it.

Now imagine, thereabout 20 percent of population in Brazil have conditions to pay a private university, which is 64 percent of all medical universities and who will study is son or daughter of this person, who have the base of thought made by this person. The thought is very important to make the moral and build the ethics. I am not saying all the students, but we will have doctor which is egocentric and will not think the patient’s social economic condition, habits, psychological and will think they are having ethics when are doing the converse.

So, that why we have groups like IFMSA (International Federal Medical Students Association) which things how we can improve the medical students’ knowledge by capacitation, actions, campaigns. Even so, the number of interested students is little. But what we have to do is continue doing this and impacting little by little to achieve a level when all students is capacitated to argue in discussion like that.

About the author

Ándrew Suguru Sato is 20 years old and a first-year medical student. He is a member of the Academic League of vulnerable population (LASPV), member of the Academic League of family and community medicine (LAMFaC), member of the Academic League of health and spirituality (LIASE), member at IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar. He has always been dedicated to helping vulnerable populations from extracurricular projects, and developing the human side by the group Humanizart.

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