Keep our ethics

In today’s class, we all think about the way of how to keep our own ethics while surviving in this world. It happens everywhere and could be any time: your boss asks you to do something non-ethics. Although most people will feel uncomfortable, they still do it just because they don’t want to lose their job or they will not feel guilty. Most time they only break a small rule which seems would not trigger any negative impact at first. However, they will find that they are involved in a big case later which will induce serious consequence in the future. As the result of a serious of non-ethics behaviors which based on the former wrong choice, people who are trusting to luck already could never be out of the affair. I am wondering if one day their boss is sued by the non-ethics behavior and they will be responsible for the case as they are the direct actor, whether they will choose to do the “wrong” thing at the very beginning.

On the other hand, there are still many people will choose to say “no” to their boss when they feel what they do will break their moral standards. For example, when my Chinese advisor just began his career as associate professor, he joined in a big group following a famous professor to obtain experiences. As he gradually get to know more in this group, he found the moral standard of the professor was so different from him. My advisor finally decided to leave this group until he was asked to make money from providing basic technical knowledge to cooperative universities or institutes. My advisor did experience a long time of difficulty as he needed to apply for research funding without a powerful backup and he also got a problem of his promotion because of the “betray” to that professor. However, he never regret of his behavior and keep insisting his ethics standard and the way of treating people. Although some one feel he is unwise, my advisor had a lot of good friends both from food industry and our university support his research and respect him. Last year, he was promoted to professor and receives a new funding from a national project.  

It is not easy to insist one’s ethic/moral standard without losing the job. However, we still could find a way survive in this society by following our heart.

Patenting human genes?

Should we patenting human genes? In my opinion, it is better to patenting human cells or cultures rather than genes. As genes are the basic component of all the creatures which are just like the basic chemical atoms of all the objects, they are form the “warehouse” of the whole human beings. In this phase, genes are public and could be shared by all the people. However, cell that derived from these genes could have millions of ways of arrangement and thus make up various cells and cultures. Each of them is specific and unique in this world such as Henrietta Lack’s cancer cell, which is still the only immortal human cell in this world. It may not be worth to patent every people’s cell. But when refers to a cell that has a significant contribution to research as well as a large business benefit just like HeLa cell, I think it is worth to patent and memory it.

Also, human derived from their cell are reasonable to own their cells. Nevertheless, if people authorize the researchers to use their cells/genes for research through consent form, then the scientists also have the right to hold their cells. What’s more, the consent form should clear that weather the cells are given voluntarily or paid by charge. But if the cells will be used for business benefits or further research that is not included in the former consent form, the researchers or any other responsible organization should let their stakeholders know and sign the consent form for further use.

In addition, I think the Lackses should be compensated for Henrietta’s cells. Since the doctors took the cultures of Henrietta for research without asking, it is difficult to say that weather Henrietta would like to donate her cells to the science as the colored people were not treated fairly that time. Furthermore, her children now ask for the compensation for their mother’s cells and they represent the Lacks and their mom in law. Thus, I think the Henrietta’s children should get compensation which include their health insurance that directly correlate with this case.