Seeking perfection: A Kantian look at human genetic engineering

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):87-102 (2007)
It is tempting to argue that Kantian moral philosophy justifies prohibiting both human germ-line genetic engineering and non-therapeutic genetic engineering because they fail to respect human dignity. There are, however, good reasons for resisting this temptation. In fact, Kant’s moral philosophy provides reasons that support genetic engineering—even germ-line and non-therapeutic. This is true of Kant’s imperfect duties to seek one’s own perfection and the happiness of others. It is also true of the categorical imperative. Kant’s moral philosophy does, however, provide limits to justifiable genetic engineering.
Keywords Categorical imperative  dignity  genetic engineering  germ-line engineering  Kant
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-007-9030-4
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