Genetics and the ethics of community

Heythrop Journal 47 (2):226–256 (2006)

At times decisions are made in the field of genetics that are presented as if the ethical debates have been adequately treated and so all moral considerations have been addressed, when the truth is very different. Nor is it always easy or desirable to separate the ethical, legal and social questions posed by new developments. The impact of developments in genetic science upon communities is one field of enquiry that envelops each of these areas.This paper explores the impact of genetics upon communities through focusing, in particular, upon certain developments in reproductive science. After introducing core issues and technologies, it discusses particular ethical concerns in relation to the ‘shadow’ of eugenics over such developments, before exploring the role of legislative debates and procedures in transforming social attitudes, values and hence norms. It then turns to consider debates concerning the ‘quality of life ethic’ now prevalent in healthcare, and moves on to discuss the issue of genetic discrimination – focusing, in particular, upon discrimination against disabled persons as a representative instance of the actual ethical and social/communitarian implications of the foregoing. It ends by highlighting the need to discern the ways in which the ethics of genetics is presently shaped and practised in order to discern better the particular social and communitarian implications of certain technological advances
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2265.2006.00286.x
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Genes, Embryos, and Future People.Walter Glannon - 1998 - Bioethics 12 (3):187–211.

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