A Thin Line

So I don’t seem like a hypocrite, I’m going to maintain the idea that I feel it is more of a moral good for me to fix the genetic problems of my child before they are born. I still don’t want to seem as if I’m supporting the notion of eugenics but if I had the opportunity to keep my child from being born with down syndrome, as was mentioned in a previous blog post, then I would seize that opportunity so they could experience the beauty of the world in a similar fashion to what I was able to growing up. All of the sights of stunning landscapes, the smells of mouth-watering food, and the sounds of pleasant ambient or emotionally evocative music would be lost or the quality of it lessened by a considerable degree if some measure of genetic mutation prevented them from truly experiencing it.

During this conversation in class I mentioned the subject of HRT, hormone replacement therapy, and how while it has the word therapy in it I believe it is more of an enhancement because it is used in many cases to improve upon the life of the individual in question that is seeking to be the person that they see themselves as. This is not simple therapy, which I believe is usually synonymous with something like recovery from an accident or some manner of trauma. But I truly believe it to be an enhancement given it improves the person’s quality of life even though it doesn’t give them any genuine advantage or genetic improvement to allow them to do better in life; it simply allows them to live the best life that they have always wanted and no longer feel trapped in a body that they don’t see as their own.

I believe it is absolutely possible to draw a line between these two concepts but it’s just a matter of how people perceive these concepts in the first place, and I think that’s where the big problem is going to become the crux of the overarching issue. The distinction is very relevant, especially when considering medical care and the opportunities that individuals would have in the American healthcare system. Many of these opportunities are lost just because “enhancements” like HRT as an example is inordinately expensive and thus are not accessible to everyone. Hells, even simple therapy for physical and mental trauma aren’t as readily available to the average person. So perhaps in that sense the line is a razor thin margin and in the eyes of big pharmaceutical companies it doesn’t matter if it’s therapy or enhancements because all they see is the capitalist profit, they can make from offering things that should be freely open to any who might need it. Do I know where the line should be? I guess it seems a little more obvious to me but I’m probably just speaking as a naïve idealist and not someone that is operating in the pragmatic or realist mindset that I often focus upon.

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