On Wednesday, we were visited by John Bryant, a renowned author and a Professor Emeritus at Exeter University. Throughout the Middle Fifth Form RE lesson, our class was lucky enough to hear him speak about his main topic of research, which is medical ethics around our genetics. He highlighted the large advancements in this field over the last 30 years; which he referred to as ‘the Golden Age’ of genetic research, and explained to us the importance of our genes as they control the majority of our physical attributes. The genetic research done today is mostly around the identification and removal of certain harmful genes, and as the genes are extracted from the embryo, it allows the foetus, and later, the child, to avoid any genetic diseases. A key question posed by Professor John Bryant was whether gene selection puts our individuality at risk? And, through the future irradiation of harmful genes, or simply, less optimal genes, will we reach a point where we all look the same? As a class, we can clearly see that these extremely interesting ethical dilemmas, will certainly play a large part in our future, and so I personally, would like to like to thank Professor John Bryant, for taking time out of his schedule, to open our eyes to such a vital topic, which is medical ethics.
Written by pupil – Todd (Middle Fifth)