Genes and equality

Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (6):587-592 (2004)
What we think about equality as a value will influence how we think genetic interventions should be regulated. In this paper I utilise the taxonomy of equality put forth by Derek Parfit and apply this to the issue of genetic interventions. I argue that Telic Egalitarianism is untenable and that Deontic Egalitarianism collapses into the Priority View. The Priority View maintains that it is morally more important to benefit those who are worse off. Once this precision has been given to the concerns egalitarians have a number of diverse issues must be considered before determining what the just regulation of genetic interventions would be. Consideration must be given to the current situation of the current situation of the least advantaged, the fiscal realities behind genetic interventions, the budget constraints on other programmes egalitarians believe should receive scarce public funds and the interconnected nature of genetic information. These considerations might lead egalitarians to abandon what they take to be the obvious policy recommendations for them to endorse regarding the regulation of genetic therapies and enhancements.
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DOI 10.1136/jme.2002.002329
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Dov Fox (2007). Luck, Genes, and Equality. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 35 (4):712-726.

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