Distinguishing genetics and eugenics on the basis of fairness

Journal of Medical Ethics 20 (3):157-164 (1994)
Abstract
There is concern that human applications of modern genetic technologies may lead inexorably to eugenic abuse. To prevent such abuse, it is essential to have clear, formal principles as well as algorithms for distinguishing genetics from eugenics. This work identifies essential distinctions between eugenics and genetics in the implied nature of the social contract and the importance ascribed to individual welfare relative to society. Rawls's construction of 'justice as fairness' is used as a model for how a formal systems of ethics can be used to proscribe eugenic practices. Rawls's synthesis can be applied to this problem if it is assumed that in the original condition all individuals are ignorant of their genetic constitution and unwilling to consent to social structures which may constrain their own potential. The principles of fairness applied to genetics requires that genetic interventions be directed at extending individual liberties and be applied to the greatest benefit of individuals with the least advantages. These principles are incompatible with negative eugenics which would further penalize those with genetic disadvantage. These principles limit positive eugenics to those practices which are designed to provide absolute benefit to those individuals with least advantage, are acceptable to its subjects, and further a system of basic equal liberties. This analysis also illustrates how simple deviations from first principles in Rawls's formulation could countenance eugenic applications of genetic technologies
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,738
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Andy Miah (2007). Genetics, Bioethics and Sport. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 1 (2):146 – 158.
Similar books and articles
Robert Sparrow (2011). Liberalism and Eugenics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):499 - 517.
Paul Weindling (2010). Genetics, Eugenics, and the Holocaust. In Denis Alexander & Ronald L. Numbers (eds.), Biology and Ideology From Descartes to Dawkins. The University of Chicago Press.
Arthur Zucker (1981). Holism and Reductionism: A View From Genetics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (2):145-164.
Gregory K. Pike (2010). What 'Really' Is Eugenics? Bioethics Research Notes 22 (4):47.
A. Lindenmayer & N. Simon (1980). The Formal Structure of Genetics and the Reduction Problem. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:160 - 170.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-09-13

Total downloads

7 ( #183,708 of 1,098,796 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #114,125 of 1,098,796 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.