Terapia génica: Una opción de tratamiento y una controversia ética

Translated title of the contribution: Gene therapy: A treatment option and an ethics controversy

Camilo Andrés Agudelo Vélez, Lina María Martínez Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Gene therapy is an innovative procedure entailing in its usage potential medical, ethical, financial and social conflicts. As a therapeutic tool, it can be defined as the transfer of genes to specific human cells with the goal of producing a therapeutic effect with which a genetic defect can be corrected. There are two goals in gene therapy. Somatic cell therapy and stem cell therapy. The first aims at healing cells in non-germ line organs and tissues. Stem-cell gene therapy aims in turn to heal this cell line in order to impact on the offspring. From an isolated biological and therapeutic perspective, this tool, because of the genetic material of sex chromosomes, brings unassessed or assessable consequences strictly when handling. Despite safety for genetic interventions, ethical considerations arise, that even though always present in any type of therapy, in gene therapy it becomes particularly important because of its efficacy. It is the generation of a relaxation in natural and species selection, which have maintained the viability in our material and allowed for the genetic diversity of humanity, the emergence of the principle of autonomy and the exercise of dignity through freedom. All therapies are supposed to return the individual to a healthy state. The development of gene therapy must be based on the good for man and avoid its detriment or the irresponsible quest for their wellbeing. Therefore, in every treatment option responding to the ethical controversy, positions must be agreed upon. This is possible with a widely informed society. By being informed, it is meant the dissemination of information in a way that is understandable and that covers all areas: scientific, commercial, medical, ethical, legislative, civil and political. This is a situation that does not match our reality.

Translated title of the contributionGene therapy: A treatment option and an ethics controversy
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalSalud Uninorte
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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