Ethics and Genetics in Latin America

Developing World Bioethics 2 (1):11-20 (2002)
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Genetic research in human beings poses deep ethical problems, one being the problem of distributive justice. If we suppose that genetic technologies are able to produce visible benefits for the well being of people, and that these benefits are affordable to only a favored portion of society, then the consequence is obvious. We are introducing a new source of inequality. In the first section of this paper, I attempt to justify some concern for the distributive consequences of applying genetics to human beings. This concern transcends a mere preoccupation for material equality. I argue that genetic inequality can undermine the very basis of social cooperation, at least regarding health care. The second section is more practical. My aim is to defend how, at least in some legal and cultural frameworks , the undesired distributive consequences of genetics are more likely to arise and more difficult to avoid



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Eduardo Rivera
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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