About this sample
About this sample
Words: 525 |
3 min read
Published: Aug 16, 2019
Words: 525|Page: 1|3 min read
In “The Indifference Engine”, written by Project Itoh in 2007, the questionable idea of genetic modification of humans is brought to the front of the reader’s attention. This act is made even more questionable due to the fact that many of those who are given the genetic modification are either in a situation where they financially cannot refuse, or they are not even being told what they are being injected with. This was a prominent idea in the minds of the Japanese public as after 2003 the Cartagena Act was implemented restricting the ability to use GMO crops as well as this required the labeling of any foods which do contain GMO crops.
The first time we see the questionable ethics of the indifference engine shot is when the doctor is talking with the main character about who else had gotten the shot. The doctor says “Microfinancing is where you lend money to people who just need a tiny bit of capital to get a business off the ground […], but [The Lender gives] them a choice. The borrower can choose to pay back the money with interest, like with a normal loan. Or they can choose to have the shot to the heart. Many people go for the shot” (p. 87-88). This seen begins to show the questionable ethics, which are apparent among the members of the CMI. These borrowers are from a war torn country, have next to no money, and here is a group who is offering to give them the money with no expectation of being repaid, however they must get this procedure done to them. This is an abuse of the people living in this country since they don’t really have many other options, since if they refused the shot and couldn’t build a successful business they would immediately be in debt.
However the true scope of these ethically dubious actions becomes apparent when the main character learns what this shot to the heart actually does. The main character meets a friend, Ezgwai, while he is at the Brave New World institute and one day he realizes Ezgwai is actually from the Hoa tribe, “I knew then why I hadn’t seen any Hoa since arriving here […] The Hoa had completely different faces from us Xema. Didn’t they? But the reason I hadn’t seen any Hoa since arriving here was simple: I could no longer tell who was Hoa and who was Xema” (P. 96). This shows that while he had been technically told what the shot would do to him he really had no idea the true effects of this procedure, which is a huge violation of medical ethics and informed consent.
These themes were strongly prevalent in Japanese society with many people strongly believing that foods with GMO ingredients need to be clearly labeled so that people know what they are consuming and can choose to avoid it if they wish to. However also at this time many people were simply against GMO’s in their entirety due to the fear of the unknown of how it could end up affecting them down the line.
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