David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (2):169-179 (2002)
The article investigates the validity of two different versions of the slippery slope argument construed in relation to human gene therapy: the empirical and the conceptual argument. The empirical version holds that our accepting somatic cell therapy will eventually cause our accepting eugenic medical goals. The conceptual version holds that we are logically committed to accepting such goals once we have accepted somatic cell therapy. It is argued that neither the empirical nor the conceptual version of the argument can provide a conclusive moral reason for banning somatic cell therapy. According to a third interpretation, referred to as the arbitrary result argument, the many apparent similarities between somatic cell therapy and eugenic-based human genetic engineering drive us to make principled choices concerning what differences and similarities between the two practices should be regarded as morally (ir)relevant. Decisions of this kind are likely to have unpredictable moral consequences. Thus formulated, the slippery slope argument has much plausibility. One objects to somatic cell therapy not so much because of what is at the bottom of the slope on which it lies, but because it is on a slope of which one does not know what is at the bottom. While the arbitrary result argument does not provide a conclusive reason for prohibiting human gene therapy, it reminds of a very important thing: when making bioethical decisions, we should be as specific and as consistent as possible about our basic moral and medical concepts
|Keywords||disease eugenics germ-line gene therapy slippery slope argument somatic cell gene therapy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Thomas Douglas (2010). Intertemporal Disagreement and Empirical Slippery Slope Arguments. Utilitas 22 (2):184-197.
Similar books and articles
David Resnik (1994). Debunking the Slippery Slope Argument Against Human Germ-Line Gene Therapy. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (1):23-40.
Bernard M. Gert (1991). Genetic Disorders and the Ethical Status of Germ-Line Gene Therapy. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (6):667-683.
John C. Fletcher (1985). Ethical Issues in and Beyond Prospective Clinical Trials of Human Gene Therapy. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (3):293-310.
W. French Anderson (1989). Human Gene Therapy: Why Draw a Line? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (6):681-693.
T. McGleenan (1995). Human Gene Therapy and Slippery Slope Arguments. Journal of Medical Ethics 21 (6):350-355.
Nils Holtug (1993). Human Gene Therapy: Down the Slippery Slope? Bioethics 7 (5):402-419.
Torbjörn Tännsjö (1993). Should We Change the Human Genome? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 14 (3).
Douglas N. Walton (1992). Slippery Slope Arguments. Oxford University Press.
Krzysztof A. Wieczorek (2011). Mechanizmy „staczania się” po równi pochyłej. Filozofia Nauki 2.
Jeanne Salmon Freeman (1996). Arguing Along the Slippery Slope of Human Embryo Research. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 21 (1):61-81.
Jonathan Hughes (2000). Consequentialism and the Slippery Slope: A Response to Clark. Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):213–220.
Kathleen Nolan (1991). Commentary: How Do We Think About the Ethics of Human Germ-Line Genetic Therapy? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (6):613-619.
Julia Tanner (2009). The Argument From Marginal Cases and the Slippery Slope Objection. Environmental Values 18 (1):51-66.
Gerd Richter & Matthew D. Bacchetta (1998). Interventions in the Human Genome: Some Moral and Ethical Considerations. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 23 (3):303 – 317.
Added to index2010-08-31
Total downloads23 ( #157,991 of 1,790,293 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #322,106 of 1,790,293 )
How can I increase my downloads?