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Gene Therapy And Catholic Social Teachings

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Gene Therapy

Imagine if people living with life threatening diseases had the chance to have a second chance at life, with gene therapy that could be possible. Gene therapy is an experimental form of treatment that works by replacing a disease causing gene with a new working gene, or by introducing a new gene to cure a condition or make its effects less severe (‘Gene therapy’, 2019) The technique was developed in 1972 but has had limited success in treating human diseases (‘What is gene therapy?’, 2019) Gene therapy has the potential to cure and prevent diseases such as cystic fibrosis, heart disease, AIDS and cancer (‘Gene Therapy – KidsHealth’, 2019).

Positives and negatives of gene therapy

Gene therapy has the potential to be a medical miracle, but there are also many negatives that would come along with this new technology. Two positives of gene therapy are that it offers hope for people with diseases that currently have no cure and it could be applied to veterinary science and it could become possible to extend the lifespan of animals, this would stabilize our animal protein food chain when applied to livestock (Ayres, 2019) Although there are many positives that come along with gene therapy, there are also negatives that could impact patients. Two negatives of gene therapy are that it is a very costly form of treatment that some people may not be able to afford it and the promise of gene therapy may provide a false hope of survival. There are times when saving someone may create a low quality of life. Is the person being saved for their benefit… or the benefit of their loved ones?

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Catholic social teachings

Until the development of gene therapy technology, people have had to live with genetic diseases, but with the introduction of gene therapy this may no longer be the case for some people. This technology advancement demonstrates the Catholic Social Teaching principles of human dignity and solidarity. Catholic social teaching is based on the belief that God has a plan to build his kingdom of peace, love and justice (‘About CST’, 2019). One of the catholic social teaching principles is dignity of the human person, this suggests that every person has value, and are worthy of respect and love. This principle can be seen through the advancement of gene therapy as this new technology is aiming to cure people from life threatening diseases and helping them to be able to live a normal life full of love and joy. The second catholic social teaching principle that can be seen through the introduction of gene therapy is solidarity. Solidarity suggests that we are all one family in the world and that “building a community that empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other’s dignity, rights and responsibilities will make the world a better place” (‘About CST’, 2019). Gene Therapy demonstrates this principle as people devote their lives into doing research and testing for gene therapy technology so that people with life threatening diseases that currently have no cure will be able to live normal lives.


In conclusion, although gene therapy is still being tested to ensure it has positive outcomes on patients, is has the potential to change people’s lives. My judgement is that gene therapy does contradict the catholic social teaching principle of the common good as it is very expensive and the principle of the common good suggests that everyone should have access to goods and resources so that they can live joyful lives, but people with genetic diseases may not always be able to afford gene therapy. However, gene therapy does follow many of the other principles of catholic social teaching and with more research and testing gene therapy could significantly improve people that are currently living with diseases quality of life.

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Gene Therapy And Catholic Social Teachings. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
“Gene Therapy And Catholic Social Teachings.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Gene Therapy And Catholic Social Teachings [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Dec 4]. Available from:
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