Ethical Issues in Modern Science – UPSC GS4

Facebook-Rayban Eyewear:
  • Facebook in a partnership with Ray-Ban introduced the first generation of smart glasses called Ray-Ban Stories.
  • These smart glasses are capable of recording any event and taking photos without the knowledge of those who are being captured.
  • It raises Privacy concerns.
Xenotransplantation:
  • Xenotransplantation is transplantation of animal body parts into human body like transplanting pig heart in humans.
  • It has numerous advantages in the treatment of organ failure by using certain gene-editing techniques in model organisms like pigs and transplanting a fully functioning organ into humans.
  • There have been successful cases of heart and kidney transplants that saved the lives of patients with organ failures and other disorders.
  • It is alleged that xenotransplantation acts against the rights of animals and several animal rights movements have objected to such medical advances.
Balanced approach needed:
  • The Government and respective regulatory authorities should put a joint effort to frame policies that will address the real concerns of illegal and immoral businesses involving human organs with respect to medical advancements instead of blindly objecting to practices like xenotransplantation only on the grounds of anthropocentric beliefs.
  • New developments in the field of science and technology must be provided with significant attention, thereby eliminating the social stigmas and upholding Article 51A of the Constitution that offers an obligation “to develop scientific temper”.