Can human genetic enhancement be prohibited?

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (1):65-84 (1995)
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Abstract

This article seeks to reframe the ethical discussion of genetic enhancement, which is the use of genetic engineering to supply a characteristic that a parent might want in a child that does not involve the treatment or prevention of disease. I consider whether it is likely that enhancement can be successfully prohibited. If genetic enhancement is feasible, it is likely that there will be demand for it because parents compete to produce able children and nations compete to accumulate human capital in skilled workers. If some parents or nations begin using genetic enhancement, this will change these competitions in ways that increase the incentives for others to use it. Therefore, a ban on genetic enhancement would be unstable, because once the ban was breached by defectors the motivation of others to uphold it would weaken, making the ban liable to collapse. The argument provides a new perspective on slippery slopes to dangerous technology. Keywords: genetic enhancement, slippery slope argumentation CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?

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