Germ-line Genetic Engineering in Light of the Theology of Marriage

Christian Bioethics 18 (2):156-162 (2012)
This article is a response to David Jones’s “Germ-line Genetic Engineering: A Critical Look at Magisterial Catholic Teaching.” Here, Jones argues that the Magisterium’s teaching is inadequate in relation to germ-line genetic engineering (GGE) in that it neither settles the question of whether all GGE is illicit nor does it bring theological resources to bear on the issue. Jones himself argues against GGE, stating that it is not a therapy for a specific individual and that using the technique is incompatible with the theology of marriage because children are not accepted as gifts. I argue that there is merit in Jones’s reasoning, as GGE can certainly be used in a manner contrary to the theology of marriage. However, I am less convinced as to whether Jones actually manages to make the case that GGE, in and of itself, may not be morally permissible. I would certainly agree with his ultimate conclusion that further theological reflection is needed
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