Although the concept of eugenics is one as old as the philosophies of Plato, the term eugenics still brings little meaning to Malaysians. But due to vast development in science, especially in the field of biotechnology, it is now a term that is getting rather well known.
What is eugenics, actually? The term eugenics, derived from the Greek eugenes, was first coined by the English mathematician and geographer Francis Galton (1822-1911) in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883) to refer to one born "good in stock hereditarily endowed with noble qualities ".
Eugenics is a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed.
Eugenics was introduced in the 1880s by Francis Galton who was a cousin of Charles Darwin and the father of modern statistics. Galton pioneered the use of pedigrees, twin studies, and statistical correlation for the purpose of using that knowledge to improve the breed of man. Galton built upon Darwin's idea whereby the the mechanisms of natural selection were potentially thwarted by human civilization. He reasoned that, since human societies sought to protect the underprivileged and weak, those societies were at odds with the natural selection responsible for extinction of the weakest, and only by changing these social policies could society be saved from "reversion toward mediocrity".
Eugenics became related to influencing differential birth rates in order to create a human society characterized by an over-abundance of desirable traits and decrease in, or a complete elimination of, undesirable traits. Positive eugenics focuses on increasing the presence of desirable traits, while negative eugenics focuses on decreasing the presence of undesirable traits. Negative eugenics is aimed at lowering fertility among the genetically disadvantaged. Eugenics eventually referred to human selective reproduction with an intention to create children with desirable traits, generally through the approach of influencing differential birth rates.
The goal of eugenics have been to create more intelligent people, save society resources, lessen human suffering and reduce health problems. Proposed means of achieving these goals most commonly include birth control, selective breeding, and genetic engineering.
Eugenics is often used to refer to movements and social policies influential during the early twentieth century. In a historical and wider sense, eugenics can also be a study of improving human genetic qualities.
One example of eugenics that became a history was the Holocaust. Hitler believed that the human gene pool could be improved by using selective breeding similar to how farmers breed superior cattle strains. In the formulation of their racial policies, Hitler's government relied heavily upon Darwinism, especially the elaborations by Spencer and Haeckel. As a result, a central policy of Hitler's administration was the development and implementation of policies designed to protect the "superior race". This required at the very least preventing the "inferior races " from mixing with those judged superior in order to reduce contamination of the latter's gene pool. The "superior race" belief was based on the theory of group inequality within each species, a major presumption and requirement of Darwin's original "survival of the fittest" theory. This philosophy culminated in the "final solution", the extermination of approximately six million Jews and four million other people who belonged to what German scientists judged as "inferior races". Just like Holocaust, many other events occurred with eugenics as the core idea and principles such as the killing in Cambodia to the 20th century eugenics which is the abortion.
Eugenics propaganda, Nazi style. Partial translation of text :" Qualitative decline in the population...It will come to this if individuals with lesser value have four children and those of higher value have two."[Graphic and translation from The Lancet, 2004]
Although the idea of eugenics seems barbaric in the light of these mentioned events, eugenics does have its redeeming qualities. Eugenics is very closely related to genetic engineering and we can see now that genetic modification when not carried out in humans, it improves the lives of population instead. One of the things eugenics has made possible is that humans now can carry out genetic test like any other test to indicate whether we have any bad genes in us. Genetic tests are the newest addition to a growing variety of medical tests.
Most medical tests are used to ascertain current state of health. However, some genetic tests can offer a peek into the future by revealing the presence of a gene that can bring on a disorder later in life, or a gene that increases susceptibility to a health problem. Some people find this information helpful in planning for the future. Such planning could include changes in lifestyle to ward off future health problems, undergoing more frequent checkups to catch problems in the early, more treatable stages, or financial planning to prepare for future medical needs. Other people find the present with constant health worries, especially when there may be no treatments or therapies available that can delay or prevent the onset of a disorder. Sometimes this test can identify those "bad " genes so that we do not pass them to our future generation. It seems like all the bad stuff that is programmed in us can be prevented from transferring to our next generation so that they are more strong, and more perfect than the previous generation.
Scientist since long ago had starte d to play god whether with the intention of getting closer to Him or to prove the nonexistent of the Almighty. But the course nature has its on ways and reasons. Sickle cell anemia, as one example, causes many health problems, but interestingly it also provides immunity to malaria, which is common in southeast Asia, where many people have this condition. Should we wipe out sickle cell anemia in Southeast Asia, assuming we could do so? We would prevent sickle cell anemia deaths, but also cause malaria deaths.
The question arises; who has the power to decide what is good or bad? What are superior traits and what are inferior traits? Abortion is eugenics itself in small scale that's happening worldwide. Abortion is permitted if it endangers the life of its mother, but would it be ethical to carry on abortion when we find out that the child in question could be with Down syndrome? Should we wield the power to correct what could be corrected and perfect what can perfected? Should this child in question be brought to this world when we know that the child will go through hardship and suffering?
Positive eugenics is almost similar to vaccines that shield people from diseases. This is because, in positive eugenics, no lives are taken away. One of the benefits of positive eugenics is gender selection of babies based on the medical condition of the baby. How is it done? The technology used to conduct gender selection of babies is the pre-implantation Genetic diagnosis (PGD). This equipment is used to detect genetic disorders in embryos. Firstly, in this diagnosis, a small number of the cells of the embryo are extracted during the development of the embryo at the eighth stage. The cells are then sent to be tested for any genetic disorders. Therefore, only the potentially healthy embryo will be selected or chosen by the doctor for the mother to conceive.
In other words, gender selection of babies can only be done with valid medical reasons or genetic disorders. For instance, a married couple would prefer to have a girl, because the embryo which is baby boy have genetic disorder such hemophilia. Hemophilia is genetic disorder which is only found in males. As for baby girls, most probably they would be carriers of genetic disorders. Genetic disorders are caused by mutation of the DNA sequence.
Another positive side of eugenics is creating designer babies. Designer babies are babies who have artificially selected genetic makeup. This is done through the combination of in vitro-fertilization with genetic engineering. In designer babies, the positive traits are enhanced or improved causing the baby to have better health, increased lifespan and even better facial features. Other than that, the genes of babies are modified to the extent that they might have better personality and high intelligent quotient. Modifying the genetic makeup is done by changing the specific alleles that control certain traits that make up individual. In creating designer babies, parents are allowed to choose the babies traits and physical appearances such as aye colour and hair colour.
Producing healthy human beings with high immunity is also a positive side of eugenics, and this has been proven to be true. For example, in Los Angeles, genetic scientist have used high technology techniques to subtract the possibilities of inheriting sickle cell anemia in a family of black race. The possibilities of getting sickle cell anemia was eradicated by excising or eliminating the sickle cell gene by the combination of in-vitro fertilization and genetic engineering on a cell taken from an embryo which is still developing in its early stage.
There's another light side of eugenics such as controlling world population. This issue has created many controversies among public because according to eugenics, only mentally healthy couples and couples without severe health conditions are allowed to reproduce. Scientist who supports eugenics believe that, a mentally healthy parent would produce a mentally stable individual with good thoughts and personality. This is because traits and personalities of parents are carried down through genes to generation after generation. Thus, the number of crimes and violence can be decreased as more people would have modified genes which prevent them to have perverted thoughts.
As a whole, positive eugenics gives way to producing individuals with good traits and better mental and physical well being. A better trait can be anything from good resistance of disease or high immunity level and healthy body condition. Eugenics is a strategised evolution for the life of mankind. Eugenics is a pathway for producing high quality offspring.
However, eugenics causes world ethical issues. One of the issues raised is abortion. Some babies are born and started out their life with trouble and engaged with accident and fatal disease that cannot be cured as well as babies with disease such chromosomal or recessively inherited disease as Down syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, and thalassemia major. Babies with these diseases usually die early or fail to reproduce.
So, what are their rights? Where are their parents responsibilities? There is a question of whether parents who make decisions to abort a fetus or destroy an embryo on the basis of a genetic test result are making a free choice. Who decides what the best traits are? They are such innocent individuals that cannot speak for their rights and are deprived to make decision on their own. Therefore, the prenatal gene testing violates the rights of an unborn person and babies are still argued.
In eugenics, genes which are considered responsible for disease or have unfavorable characteristics are removed in order to improve the quality of gene pool. Thus is because, babies with these abnormalities can influence the gene pool of the next generation and cause long term genetic implications. Each child of a parent with the disease has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene. So, abortions are the best resolution towards eugenics. It can alter allele frequencies in ways that society at time considers to be in the interests of humanity.
However, in the eyes of some disabled groups, selective abortion of fetuses with certain genetic encourages discrimination toward people with inherited diseases and is morally unacceptable. There are always debates going on whether we human are playing God. Is it right for human beings to manipulate human genes by altering fundamental aspects of human makeup?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
MB 105 Posted by: Group 7
Kefilwe Patience Malete 1000921482
The true for runner of human rights discourse was the enlightenment concept of natural rights developed by figures such as John State and Emmanuel Kant and through the political realm in the United State Bill Rights of United State Bill Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of the Citizen. In their contemporary manifestation, human rights are a set of individual and collective rights that have been formally promoted and protected through international and domestic law since the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Arguments, theories, and protections of such rights have been in existence for a much longer period, but since the UN Declaration, the evolution of their express legal protection has grown rapidly. Today, there are numerous international treaties on human rights to which an increasingly large number of nation states are a party, while the language of human rights increasingly pervades our moral, legal, and political vocabulary to such an extant that we are now living in an age of rights.
The development of a human rights doctrine has changed the ways in which nation states act towards each other at the international and regional levels, and the ways which governments, individuals and groups interact at the domestic level. These new types of action and interaction cover a broad range of areas, including political rights, civil rights, social, economic, and cultural rights, as well as questions of poverty and the distribution of socio-economic resources. Politically and legally, both the sovereignty and pursuit of power-based national interest has become increasingly checked by the application of international, regional, and national human rights norms and practices.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhoodUnited Nations charter was set out with the purpose for UN to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. The rights espoused in the UN charter was codified in the International Bill Of Human Rights, composing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political and the International Covenant on Economic,Social and Cultural Rights.
THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION HUMAN RIGHTS
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was found in 1948 and it was drafted by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1947 and 1948. The Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948.Amongst other human rights, this declaration enunciates certain fundamental human rights of every human being which are of special interest in the study of the ethics of circumcision. They are rights to security of person, to freedom from torture and other cruel and unusual treatment, and to privacy. Motherhood and childhood have a right to special protection.
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
COMMON HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
The United Nations Study on Violence against Children
Rule of Law - Democracy and Human Rights
Human rights education and training
Human rights can only be achieved through an informed and continued demand by people for their protection. Human rights education promotes values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others. It develops an understanding of everyone's common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community. Human rights education constitutes an essential contribution to the long-term prevention of human rights abuses and represents an important investment in the endeavour to achieve a just society in which all human rights of all persons are valued and respected.
Examples of types of human Violations
Some of the gravest violations of the right to life are massacres, the starvation of entire populations, and genocide. Genocide is commonly understood as the intentional extermination of a single ethnic, racial, or religious group. Killing group members, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing measures to prevent birth, or forcibly transferring children are all ways to bring about the destruction of a group. Genocide is often regarded as the most offensive crime against humanity. Women and girls are often raped by soldiers or forced into prostitution. For a long time, the international community has failed to address the problem of sexual violence during armed conflict.
However, sexual assaults, which often involve sexual mutilation, sexual humiliation, and forced pregnancy, are quite common. Such crimes are motivated in part by the long-held view that women are the "spoils" of war to which soldiers are entitled. Trafficking in women is a form of sexual slavery in which women are transported across national borders and marketed for prostitution. These so-called "comfort women" are another example of institutionalized sexual violence against women during wartime. Sexual violence is sometimes viewed as a way to destroy male and community pride or humiliate men who cannot "protect" their women. It is also used to silence women who are politically active, or simply inflict terror upon the population at large.
International humanitarian law has been enacted to preserve humanity in all circumstances, even during conflicts. Such law creates areas of peace in the midst of conflict, imposes the principle of a common humanity, and calls for dialogue. It rules out unlimited force or total war and seeks to limit the use of violence in the hopes of maintaining the necessary conditions for a return to peace. Various international committees are in place to monitor compliance with human rights standards and report any violations. When breaches do occur, they are brought to the attention of international tribunals or tried in an international court or war crimes tribunal.
In response, public authorities must regain control of organized violence. This means a re-establishment of the rule of law and a rebuilding of trust in public authorities. In addition, more inclusive, democratic values are needed to defuse exclusivist ideals. In the face of such violations, leaders must champion international legal norms and human rights. These human rights norms are central to the maintenance of civil society, and necessary for grounding attitudes of tolerance and mutual respect within communities.Serious difficulties arise, however, when those in power are responsible for human rights violations. In this case, outside intervention is necessary to stop the abuse.
Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: United Nations Response." United Nations. Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/cover.htm; [Internet]. Accessed:[20 June 2010]
"Sexual Violence." Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/cover.htm; [Internet].Accessed:[22 July 2010]
htpp://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/sgreport/pressrel.htm; [Internet].Accessed:[29 July 2010]
The 20th century has seen a spectacular rise more than ever before in the national activities to try and protect the natural environment. But this is still not enough as the damage has already been done. The natural environment is an environment that is closest to its natural state. It is the climate weather and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity. It is sad to say that the present day earth is no longer in its natural state. Activities especially as it relates to human have degrade the natural environment of its former glory and it is being carried out daily. The earth is currently experiencing global warming an effect of rise in sea level and lots of other industrial activities that in turn cause pollutions that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The ecosystems are endangered due to overfishing, carbon dioxide emission and other and pollution in their habitat. There areas are a minute of the different areas to consider when dealing with the natural environment and this article will focus on the causes and effect of humans and how their activities have contributed to the exploitation.
CAUSES AND EFFECT OF EXPLOITATION
Humans have always manipulated natural resources in order to produce raw materials needed for the sustaining of the growing human population worldwide. The exploitation of natural resources is usually done in a non-sustainable way and this threatens human existence. The resources which are already scarce are being over exploited with the aim of improving the daily lives of human through technology and innovations. Misuse or overuse of many valuable resources has led to the deterioration & degradation in quality for example: land and water resources have deteriorated in quality and deplete due to pollution. The boundary less human knowledge, creativity and innovative in the areas of technological advancement are playing a vital role in over-exploiting the natural resources. Environmental change is also caused by modifications to the land surface. Human activities cause alterations to the local and global environment by physical intrusion or by altering the nature of the land surface (by urbanization, infrastructure-building, waste tipping), affecting landscapes, land uses and productivity (for example deforestation, desertification, erosion). Furthermore, the building of infrastructure, particularly for transport, uses vast quantities of natural resources and energy during construction, and also generates substantial waste products which imply additional impacts and physical intrusion by quarrying and tipping of construction waste.
The need for these raw materials by humans which causes the manipulation of natural resources has led to serious life threatening effects. Taking a current oil spill situation in China as an example; the need for fuel has resulted in water pollution due to the blast of oil pipeline causing a massive spillage of oil. This has led to a very huge impact on marine life. This also disrupts the food chain, this happens when toxins are in the water, the toxins travel from the water the animals drink to humans when the animals’ meat is eaten. Infectious diseases such as typhoid and cholera (a major concern in the Africa region) can be contracted from drinking contaminated water. This is called microbial water pollution. Land pollution indirectly affects the respiratory system of human beings. Breathing in polluted dust can result in a number of health problems related to the respiratory system. Land pollution, deforestation and desertification have serious effect on wildlife; vegetation, which provides food and shelter to wildlife, are destroyed. Land pollution often disrupts the balance of Nature, causing human fatalities.
As mentioned earlier, the natural environment encompasses living and nonliving things occurring naturally on earth such as the climate, weather, and all natural resources. In the end when talking about exploitation of natural environment, human activity is still at the heart of it all. These activities that are being carried out daily contribute to this effect
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
KESEGO PORTIA BROOKS 1000921476
LEABANENG TAWE 1000921523
PLEASURE RAMATLHO 1000821337
LAONE MONTSHIWA 1000821266
NUR BADRIYAH 1001024809
Biological warfare is the use of harmful microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria by military factions or terrorists against, civilians, opposing militaries, crops or animals. The organisms that are used may work by producing harmful poisons or toxins either before or after they are dispatched.
Biological warfare is used in several different ways by a military outfit
or other people with harmful intentions. The most common perception
of the use of biological agents is that they are intended to kill massive
amounts of soldiers and civilians. Less harmful germs could possibly
be distributed among enemy soldiers to make them too sick to fight.
It is also effective to use th microorganisms to kill or damage the food
crops of the enemy for the purpose of cutting off their food supply, and
this can include livestock as well as major plant-based food staple
METHODS OF DELIVERANCE
1. Wet or Dry Form
Biological agents are non-volatile solids that would be disseminated
either as liquid slurry or a dry powder of freeze-dried organisms or toxin.
Dry powders composed of very small particles tend to have better
dissemination characteristics and have advantages in storage.
2.Contamination of food and water
3.Usage of bombs or bomblets that release the agent by exploding
(generally very inefficient delivery systems), land and sea mines,
pipe bombs, and many other special devices.
4.The use of small rotary-wing vehicles, fixed-wing aircraft fitted
with spray tanks and drones.
Figure 1 : Bacillus anthracis- Nonspecific symptoms of fatigue,
myalgia, fever, nonproductive cough, followed by chest pain,
respiratory distress, high fever, pneumonia.
Other forms: Intest./Cutan. Anthrax (not as BW-Agents).
figure 2 : Yersinia pestis- Acute: high fever, headache,
productive cough blood-tinged sputum, vomiting.
Hematogenous dissemination: sepsis, shock, meningitis.
figure 3 : Smallpox Variolavirus -Acute: malaise, fever, headache,
vomiting. Erythematous rash spread centrally to the trunk,
quickly progresses to papules/pustular vesicles (centrifugal distribution).
Pustules → scabs after 8 - 14 days.
figure 4 : Botulism Clostridium botulinum- Blurred vision, dilated pupils,
photophobia, difficulty with speaking/swallowing, (severe) muscle paralysis
figure 5 :Ricin-Intoxication
Ricin Fever, chest tightness, nausea, gastrointestinal ailment, resp.
Ricin Fever, chest tightness, nausea, gastrointestinal ailment, resp.
failure, pulmonary edema
THE MAIN BIOWARFARE AGENT
What is anthrax ?
Anthrax is one of famous biowarefare caused by exposure to the spores
How does it spread?
This anthrax spore can be produce through in vitro and turns to
biological weapon. Anthrax does not spread directly but through spore that
produce by anthrax.
How people get infected with anthrax?
Entering the lungs as an aerosol (the inhalational route)
Anthrax being ingested in food or water (the oral route)
How can prevent getting anthrax?
Vaccination is the best preventation. If u travelling to countries, which
related to agricultural. The vaccine is reported to be 93% effective
in protecting against anthrax infection from skin contact.
ADVANTAGES OF BIOWARFARE
· The potential deadly or incapacitating effects on a susceptible population
· The self-replicating capacity of some biological agents to continue proliferating in the affected individual and, potentially, in the local population and surroundings
· The relatively low cost of producing many biological weapons.
· The insidious symptoms that can mimic endemic diseases.
· The difficulty of immediately detecting the use of a biological agent, owing to the current limitations in fielding a multiagent sensor system on the battlefield, as well as to the prolonged incubation period preceding onset of illness (or the slow onset of symptoms) with some biological agents.
· The sparing of property and physical surroundings (compared with conventional or nuclear weapons).
DISADVANTAGES OF BIOWARFARE
· The effects of temperature, sunlight, and desiccation on the survivability of some infectious organisms
· The environmental persistence of some agents, such as spore-forming anthrax bacteria, which can make an area uninhabitable for long periods
· The possibility that secondary aerosols of the agent will be generated as the aggressor moves through an area already attacked
· The unpredictability of morbidity secondary to a biological attack, since casualties (including civilians) will be related to the quantity and the manner of exposure
· The relatively long incubation period for many agents, a factor that may limit their tactical usefulness.
The public’s aversion to the use of biological warfare agents
All in all biological warfare is not environmentally friendly because
destroys plants, impairers humanity and its effects are severe
and can last for a long time. Adherence to the Biological and Toxin
Weapons Convention, reinforced by confidence-building measure
is indeed, an important and necessary step in reducing and
this video is more based on one of the most famous agent
which is bacillus anthrax.