About this topic
Summary Genetic ethics is the study of the moral and political implications of (A) discoveries in the field of genetics (B) advances in genetic technology. For example, a study of the ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) of (A) and (B) was funded as part of the Human Genome Project, started in 1986 and concluded in 2003, whose main goal was to identify all the genes in the human DNA and determine the sequence of all DNA chemical bases of a human being. Genes are units of biological hereditary information, which can be coded by different molecules (sharing similar characteristics), the most stable of which is the DNA. Since the information stored in genes influences the development of a whole organism, it is often regarded as having special importance, thus raising issues of privacy protection or discrimination. It is also apt to be used in controversial ways, e.g. deciding whether a future human person ought to exist or not (such as in selective preimplantation genetic diagnosis or abortion).  
Key works Harris 1992 argues that it is mandatory to use advances in gene therapy to remove vulnerability to infections and pollutants or to radiation damage. It advances an argument that, beside removing the genetic causes of what we regard today as "disability", it is equally mandatory to retard the ageing process, remove predispositions to heart disease, destroy carcinogens and permit human beings to tolerate other environmental pollutants.  Buchanan et al 2000 focuses on justice in the access to human genetic technology, but considers a broad range of themes and arguments: the moral heredity of eugenics, the distinction between therapy and enhancement, constrains and permissions on parental choices of genetic selection, and the disability critique of liberal eugenics. It maintains a position that is liberal, in that it permits individuals a wide range of choices concerning the genetic endowments of their future children, yet constrains it by blocking interventions which would harm the future person (by reducing future options) or society (by causing an unfair distribution of social goods). Fukuyama 2002 regards genetic technology the practice that will radically change human nature with irreversible moral implications. Genetic technology is thus objectionable, in that undermines the natural presuppositions of egalitarian liberalism. Habermas 2003 defends a principled distinction between gene-therapy to cure disease and genetic manipulation allowing parents to select the traits of future children. The latter is seen as incompatible with egalitarian relationships between human beings and their freedom of choice. 
Introductions Buchanan et al manuscript; Brock 2003.
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  1. Gamete Donation, the Responsibility Objection, and Procreative Responsibilities.Reuven Brandt - 2021 - Wiley: Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (1):88-103.
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  2. Health and Other Reveries: Homo Curare, Homo Faber, and the Realization of Care.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2022 - In Talia Welch & Susan Bredlau (eds.), Normality, Abnormality, and Pathology in Merleau-Ponty. New York, NY, USA: SUNY Press.
    Merleau-Ponty claims that the idea of objective knowledge is supported by "our reveries." My aim in this paper is to explore this argument with respect to the idea of health. As a case study, I focus on bioethical issues surrounding return of results of incidental variants with respect to the use of genetic and genomic screening technologies (GSTs) in newborn and pediatric contexts. Drawing on a range of Merleau-Ponty’s texts, I argue that this case suggests the modern idea of health (...)
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  3. The Hard Sell of Genetically Engineered (GE) Mosquitoes with Gene Drives as the Solution to Malaria: Ethical, Political, Epistemic, and Epidemiological Issues in Global Health Governance.Zahra Meghani - 2020 - In Sharon Crasnow & Kristen Intemann (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 435-457.
    This chapter analyzes the ‘hard sell’ of genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes with gene drives as the solution to mosquito-borne diseases. A defining characteristic of the aggressive sell of the bio-technology is the ‘biologization’ of the significant prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases in certain socio-economically marginalized regions of the global South. Specifically, hard sell narratives either minimize or ignore the structural, systemic factors that are partially responsible for the public health problem that the GE mosquitoes are intended to bio-solve. The biologization of (...)
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  4. Gene Editing Sperm and Eggs (Not Embryos): Does It Make a Legal or Ethical Difference?I. Glenn Cohen, Jacob S. Sherkow & Eli Y. Adashi - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (3):619-621.
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  5. Introducing the Brave New Crispr World.Arvin M. Gouw - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):421-429.
    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has been the buzzword for genome editing in the past few years, especially with the birth of Lulu and Nana, twin girls who were genetically edited using the CRISPR/Cas system. To discuss this, a group of scientists, theologians, and ethicists gathered at the 2019 Institute on Religion in the Age of Science (IRAS) conference to discuss the implications of CRISPR gene editing. It became quickly apparent through our discussions that this CRISPR revolution will (...)
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  6. Moral Decisions About Human Germ‐Line Modification.Roger R. Adams - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):430-443.
    Technologies for human germ‐line modification may soon enable humanity to create new types of human beings. Decisions about use of this power entail an unprecedented combination of difficulties: the stakes are immense, the unknowns are daunting, and moral principles are called into question. Evolved morality is not a sure basis for these decisions, both because of its inherent imperfections and because genetic engineering could eventually change humans’ innate cognitive mechanisms. Nevertheless, consensus is needed on moral values relevant to germ‐line modification. (...)
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  7. Robotic Ai, Crispr, and Free Will.Arthur C. Petersen - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):283-285.
  8. Regulation of International Direct-to-Participant Genomic Research: Symposium Introduction.Mark A. Rothstein & Bartha Maria Knoppers - 2019 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 47 (4):579-580.
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  9. Legal and Ethical Challenges of International Direct-to-Participant Genomic Research: Conclusions and Recommendations.Mark A. Rothstein, Ma'N. H. Zawati, Laura M. Beskow, Kathleen M. Brelsford, Kyle B. Brothers, Catherine M. Hammack-Aviran, James W. Hazel, Yann Joly, Michael Lang, Dimitri Patrinos, Andrea Saltzman & Bartha Maria Knoppers - 2019 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 47 (4):705-731.
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  10. The Streetlight Effect: Regulating Genomics Where the Light Is.Barbara J. Evans - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (1):105-118.
    Regulatory policy for genomic testing may be subject to biases that favor reliance on existing regulatory frameworks even when those frameworks carry unintended legal consequences or may be poorly tailored to the challenges genomic testing presents. This article explores three examples drawn from genetic privacy regulation, oversight of clinical uses of genomic information, and regulation of genomic software. Overreliance on expedient regulatory approaches has a potential to undercut complete and durable solutions.
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  11. From Genetics to Genomics: Facing the Liability Implications in Clinical Care.Gary Marchant, Mark Barnes, James P. Evans, Bonnie LeRoy & Susan M. Wolf - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (1):11-43.
    Health care is transitioning from genetics to genomics, in which single-gene testing for diagnosis is being replaced by multi-gene panels, genome-wide sequencing, and other multi-genic tests for disease diagnosis, prediction, prognosis, and treatment. This health care transition is spurring a new set of increased or novel liability risks for health care providers and test laboratories. This article describes this transition in both medical care and liability, and addresses 11 areas of potential increased or novel liability risk, offering recommendations to both (...)
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  12. General-Purpose Privacy Regulation and Translational Genomics.William McGeveran & Caroline Schmitz - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (1):142-150.
    At one time, specialized health privacy laws represented the bulk of the rules regulating genetic privacy, Today, however, as both the field of genomics and the content of privacy law change rapidly, a new generation of general-purpose privacy laws may impose new restrictions on collection, storage, and disclosure of genetic data. This article surveys these laws and considers implications.
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  13. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections of Genetic Heritage: The Legal, Ethical and Practical Considerations of a Dynamic Consent Approach to Decision Making.Megan Prictor, Sharon Huebner, Harriet J. A. Teare, Luke Burchill & Jane Kaye - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (1):205-217.
    Dynamic Consent is both a model and a specific web-based tool that enables clear, granular communication and recording of participant consent choices over time. The DC model enables individuals to know and to decide how personal research information is being used and provides a way in which to exercise legal rights provided in privacy and data protection law. The DC tool is flexible and responsive, enabling legal and ethical requirements in research data sharing to be met and for online health (...)
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  14. Protecting Participants in Genomic Research: Understanding the “Web of Protections” Afforded by Federal and State Law.Leslie E. Wolf, Catherine M. Hammack, Erin Fuse Brown, Kathleen M. Brelsford & Laura M. Beskow - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (1):126-141.
    Researchers now commonly collect biospecimens for genomic analysis together with information from mobile devices and electronic health records. This rich combination of data creates new opportunities for understanding and addressing important health issues, but also intensifies challenges to privacy and confidentiality. Here, we elucidate the “web” of legal protections for precision medicine research by integrating findings from qualitative interviews with structured legal research and applying them to realistic research scenarios involving various privacy threats.
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  15. Entwined Processes: Rescripting Consent and Strengthening Governance in Genomics Research with Indigenous Communities.Nanibaa’ A. Garrison, Stephanie Russo Carroll & Maui Hudson - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (1):218-220.
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  16. GEM Anscombe, Faith in a Hard Ground: Essays on Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. [REVIEW]Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2009 - Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 101 (4):587-590.
    I discuss this collection of published and unpublished essays on religion and ethics by GEM Anscombe edited by Mary Geach and Luke Gormally. My main doubt concerns the criteria on which papers have been included in this volume. I argue that, while part of the material included typically belongs to a discussion between believers, some of these are good examples of applied ethics with no direct link with the Christian faith and addressed to a universal audience of reasonable partners of (...)
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  17. Genetic Selective Abortion: Still a Matter of Choice.Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):445-455.
    Jeremy Williams has argued that if we are committed to a liberal pro-choice stance with regard to selective abortion for disability, we will be unable to justify the prohibition of sex selective abortion. Here, I apply his reasoning to selective abortion based on other traits pregnant women may decide are undesirable. These include susceptibility to disease, level of intelligence, physical appearance, sexual orientation, religious belief and criminality—in fact any traits attributable to some degree to a genetic component. Firstly, I review (...)
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  18. Editing the Reactive Genome: Towards a Postgenomic Ethics of Germline Editing.Stephan Guttinger - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (1):58-72.
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  19. From Dusk Till Dawn: Bioethical Insights Into the Beginning and the End of Life.Evangelos D. Protopapadakis - 2019 - Berlin, Germany: Logos Verlag.
    From Dawn till Dusk embraces the conceptual challenges often associated with Bioethics by taking the reader on a journey that embodies the circle of life and what it means to be human. The beginning and the end of life have always been an impossible riddle to humans. Bioethics does not aspire to unveil utter truths regarding the purpose of our existence; on the contrary, its task is to settle controversial issues that arise within this finite, very fragile and vulnerable life, (...)
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  20. The Ethics of Cloning Horses in Polo.Francisco Javier Lopez Frias & Cesar R. Torres - 2019 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (1):125-139.
    The ethics of using genetic engineering to enhance athletic performance has been a recurring topic in the sport philosophy and bioethics literature. In this article, we analyze the ethics of cloning horses for polo competition. In doing so, we critically examine the arguments most commonly advanced to justify this practice. In the process, we raise concerns about cloning horses for polo competition, centering on normative aspects pertaining to sport ethics usually neglected by defenders of cloning. In particular, we focus on (...)
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  21. Genetic Discrimination in Health Insurance: An Ethical and Economic Analysis.Ben Eggleston - 2008 - In Aine Donovan & Ronald M. Green (eds.), The Human Genome Project in College Curriculum: Ethical Issues and Practical Strategies. pp. 46-57.
    Current research on the human genome holds enormous long-term promise for improvements in health care, but it poses an immediate ethical challenge in the area of health insurance, by raising the question of whether insurers should be allowed to take genetic information about customers into account in the setting of premiums. It is widely held that such discrimination is immoral and ought to be illegal, and the prevalence of this view is understandable, given the widespread belief, which I endorse, that (...)
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  22. Nonideal Theory, Self-Respect, and Preimplantation Genetic Technologies.Clair Morrissey & Elena Neale - 2019 - In E. Sills & Gianpiero Palermo (eds.), Human Embryos and Preimplantation Genetic Technologies. pp. 67-74.
    We suggest a fuller understanding of the obligation to respect patient autonomy can be gained by recognizing patients as historically and socially situated agents, whose values are developed, challenged, and changed, rather than merely applied, in their decision-making about their use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis or preimplantation genetic screening (PGD/PGS). We ground this discussion in empirical research on the patients experiences with PGD/PGS, and conclude by suggesting that promoting patients’ self-respect is a useful ethical standard for providers and practices to (...)
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  23. Enhancement, Authenticity, and Social Acceptance in the Age of Individualism.Nicolae Morar & Daniel R. Kelly - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (1):51-53.
    Public attitudes concerning cognitive enhancements are significant for a number of reasons. They tell us about how socially acceptable these emerging technologies are considered to be, but they also provide a window into the ethical reasons that are likely to get traction in the ongoing debates about them. We thus see Conrad et al’s project of empirically investigating the effect of metaphors and context in shaping attitudes about cognitive enhancements as both interesting and important. We sketch what we suspect is (...)
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  24. Genomic Data-Sharing Practices.Angela G. Villanueva, Robert Cook-Deegan, Jill O. Robinson, Amy L. McGuire & Mary A. Majumder - 2019 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 47 (1):31-40.
    Making data broadly accessible is essential to creating a medical information commons. Transparency about data-sharing practices can cultivate trust among prospective and existing MIC participants. We present an analysis of 34 initiatives sharing DNA-derived data based on public information. We describe data-sharing practices captured, including practices related to consent, privacy and security, data access, oversight, and participant engagement. Our results reveal that data-sharing initiatives have some distance to go in achieving transparency.
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  25. Approximating Future Generic Entry for New Drugs.Reed F. Beall, Jonathan J. Darrow & Aaron S. Kesselheim - 2019 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 47 (1):177-182.
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  26. Artificial and Natural Genetic Information Processing.Guenther Witzany - 2017 - In Mark Burgin & Wolfgang Hofkirchner (eds.), Information Studies and the Quest for Transdisciplinarity. Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 523-547.
    Conventional methods of genetic engineering and more recent genome editing techniques focus on identifying genetic target sequences for manipulation. This is a result of historical concept of the gene which was also the main assumption of the ENCODE project designed to identify all functional elements in the human genome sequence. However, the theoretical core concept changed dramatically. The old concept of genetic sequences which can be assembled and manipulated like molecular bricks has problems in explaining the natural genome-editing competences of (...)
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  27. Untangling the Promises of Human Genome Editing.Katherine Drabiak - 2018 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 46 (4):991-1009.
    This article traces the rapid progression of policy pertaining to human genome germline modifications using genome editing. It provides an overview of how one fertility physician implemented and advertised experimental techniques as part of his fertility clinic services, examines US law and policy, and assesses the impact of rhetoric influencing global policy and interpretation of the law. This article provides an in-depth examination of the medical rationale driving the acceptance of genome editing human embryos in two contexts: to cure disease (...)
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  28. The Lumbering Crawl Toward Human Germline Editing.Eli Y. Adashi & I. Glenn Cohen - 2018 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 46 (4):1010-1012.
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  29. Book Review: Assessing Genetic Risks: Implications for Health and Social Policy. [REVIEW]Bernard Lo - 1994 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 22 (4):343-344.
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  30. A Review Of: “David H. Smith and Cynthia B. Cohen , A Christian Response to the New Genetics: Religious, Ethical and Social Issues.”: New York, NY: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003. 208 Pp. $24.95, Paperback. [REVIEW]Lisa Sowle Cahill - 2006 - American Journal of Bioethics 6 (4):78-79.
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  31. Leonardo’s Choice – Genetic Technologies and Animals, by Carol Gigliotti.Richard Twine - 2009 - Genomics, Society and Policy 5 (2):1-4.
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  32. Natürlichkeit und Künstlichkeit: Bemerkungen zur ethischen Problematik der Manipulierbarkeit des humangenetischen Substrats.Jan Szaif - 2015 - In G. Rager & G. Wegner (eds.), Synthetische Biologie – Leben als Konstrukt. Freiburg, Germany: pp. 161-195.
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  33. Time to End the Use of Genetic Test Results in Life Insurance Underwriting.Mark A. Rothstein - 2018 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 46 (3):794-801.
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  34. Review of Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life by Lee M. Silver. [REVIEW]W. Malcolm Byrnes - 2007 - Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 11:248-253.
  35. Rethinking Reprogenetics: Enhancing Ethical Analyses of Reprogenetic Technologies.Inmaculada de Melo-Martin - 2017 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Reprogenetic technologies, which combine the power of reproductive techniques with the tools of genetic science and technology, promise prospective parents a remarkable degree of control to pick and choose the likely characteristics of their offspring. Not only can they select embryos with or without particular genetically-related diseases and disabilities but also choose embryos with non-disease related traits such as sex. -/- Prominent authors such as Agar, Buchanan, DeGrazia, Green, Harris, Robertson, Savulescu, and Silver have flocked to the banner of reprogenetics. (...)
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  36. At Law: Who's Afraid of the Human Genome?George J. Annas - 1989 - Hastings Center Report 19 (4):19.
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  37. Chimeras and Odysseys Toward Understanding the Technology-Dependent Child.Arthur F. Kohrman - 1994 - Hastings Center Report 24 (5):S4.
  38. In Search of a Post-Genomic Bioethics: Lessons From Political Biology.Sarah Chan - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):116-123.
  39. The Transfer and Delegation of Responsibilities for Genetic Offspring in Gamete Provision.Reuven Brandt - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (5):665-678.
    In this article I reject the claim that the responsibilities acquired by gamete providers can be transferred to their biological children's intending parents. I defend this position by first showing that arguments in defence of the transferability of responsibilities in gamete provision cases fail to distinguish between the transfer and delegation of responsibility. I then provide an argument against the transferability of responsibilities in gamete provision cases that differs from the ones offered by James Lindemann Nelson and Rivka Weinberg. Though (...)
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  40. Currents in Contemporary Ethics Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Is It the Practice of Medicine?Cynthia Marietta & Amy L. McGuire - 2009 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 37 (2):369-374.
    Understanding of the human genome and its functional significance has increased exponentially since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. The HGP fueled the discovery of more than 1,800 disease genes and paved the way for researchers to identify and test for genes suspected of causing inherited diseases. Currently, there are more than 1000 genetic tests for human diseases and conditions on the market. These tests can play an integral role in the delivery of health care by providing (...)
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  41. Genetic Affinity and the Right to ‘Three-Parent IVF’.G. Owen Schaefer & Markus Labude - 2017 - Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 34 (12):1577-1580.
    With the recent report of a live birth after use of Mitochondrial replacement therapy, sometimes called ‘Three-parent IVF’, the clinical application of the technique is fast becoming a reality. While the United Kingdom allows the procedure under regulatory scrutiny, it remains effectively outlawed in many other countries. We argue that such prohibitions may violate individuals’ procreative rights, grounded in individuals’ interest in genetic affinity. The interest in genetic affinity was recently endorsed by Singapore’s highest court, reflecting an emphasis on the (...)
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  42. Science.Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco - 2013 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13 (2):321-327.
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  43. Review of Biotechnology and the Human Good. [REVIEW]David B. Resnik - 2008 - Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 2 (1).
    Biotechnology and the Human Good by C. Ben Mitchell, Edmund D. Pellegrino, Jean Bethke Elshstain, and Scott B. Rae is a thoughtful, carefully argued perspective on the ethics of new developments in biotechnology, such as human enhancement, human germ-line engineering, cloning, nanotechnology, and cybernetics.
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  44. The Mitochondrial Replacement ‘Therapy’ Myth.Tina Rulli - 2017 - Bioethics 31 (4):368-374.
    This article argues that two forms of mitochondrial replacement therapy, maternal spindle transfer and pro-nuclear transfer, are not therapies at all because they do not treat children who are coming into existence. Rather, these technologies merely create healthy children where none was inevitable. Even if creating healthy lives has some value, it is not to be confused with the medical value of a cure or therapy. The article addresses a recent Bioethics article, ‘Mitochondrial Replacement: Ethics and Identity,’ by Wrigley, Wilkinson, (...)
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  45. Ethical considerations in prenatal diagnosis and genetic counseling.Noel Taboada Lugo - 2017 - Humanidades Médicas 17 (1):2-16.
    El diagnóstico prenatal como opción reproductiva más difundida a nivel mundial se refiere a métodos para investigar la salud del feto. Entre sus objetivos está la detección de malformaciones congénitas en la vida fetal y permitir la interrupción del embarazo. Un enfoque ético, basado en el respeto por las personas y a la confidencialidad, evitando el daño y respetando la autonomía, son las claves de un asesoramiento genético óptimo. Se realizó una revisión bibliográfica con el objetivo de exponer algunas consideraciones (...)
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  46. The Ethics of Germline Gene Editing.Gyngell Christopher, Douglas Thomas & Savulescu Julian - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (4):498-513.
    Germline Gene Editing has enormous potential both as a research tool and a therapeutic intervention. While other types of gene editing are relatively uncontroversial, GGE has been strongly resisted. In this article, we analyse the ethical arguments for and against pursuing GGE by allowing and funding its development. We argue there is a strong case for pursuing GGE for the prevention of disease. We then examine objections that have been raised against pursuing GGE and argue that these fail. We conclude (...)
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  47. Genetic Exceptionalism Vs. Paradigm Shift: Lessons From HIV.Lainie Friedman Ross - 2001 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 29 (1):141-148.
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  48. Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares: The Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering, by Maxwell J. Mehlman.Sheryl de Lacey - 2013 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 6 (2):198-200.
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  49. Desperately Seeking Perfection: Christian Discipleship and Medical Genetics 1.J. Shuman - 1999 - Christian Bioethics 5 (2):139-153.
    The question of what, if anything, Christian theology as theology might contribute to ethical debates about appropriate uses of medical genetics has often been ignored. The answer is complex, and the author argues it is best characterized by an explanation of the analogous aspirations of the two: both have as their goal the perfection of the human being, both assert that the present disposition of the human body is on a fundamental level more often than not other than it ought (...)
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  50. Foundations of the Culture Wars: Compassion, Love, and Human Dignity.M. J. Cherry - 2001 - Christian Bioethics 7 (3):299-316.
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