Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (6):669-695 (2015)

Authors
Russell Powell
Boston University
Abstract
Liberal proponents of genetic engineering maintain that developing human germline modification technologies is morally desirable because it will result in a net improvement in human health and well-being. Skeptics of germline modification, in contrast, fear evolutionary harms that could flow from intervening in the human germline, and worry that such programs, even if well intentioned, could lead to a recapitulation of the scientifically and morally discredited projects of the old eugenics. Some bioconservatives have appealed as well to the value of retaining our “given” human biological nature as a reason for restraining the development and use of human genetic modification technologies even where they would tend to increase well-being. In this article, I argue that germline intervention will be necessary merely to sustain the levels of genetic health that we presently enjoy for future generations—a goal that should appeal to bioliberals and bioconservatives alike. This is due to the population-genetic consequences of relaxed selection pressures in human populations caused by the increasing efficacy and availability of conventional medicine. This heterodox conclusion, which I present as a problem of intergenerational justice, has been overlooked in medicine and bioethics due to certain misconceptions about human evolution, which I attempt to rectify, as well as the sordid history of Darwinian approaches to medicine and social policy, which I distinguish from the present argument
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhv025
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,287
External links

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

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
The Birth of Bioethics.Albert R. Jonsen - 2003 - Oxford University Press.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Enhancement and the Conservative Bias.Ben Davies - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (3):339-356.
Shifting the Focus While Conserving Commitments in Research Ethics.Tyron Goldschmidt - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (2):103-113.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

"Playing God" and Germline Intervention.Ted Peters - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (4):365-386.
Human Genome Editing and Ethical Considerations.Kewal Krishan, Tanuj Kanchan & Bahadur Singh - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (2):597-599.
A Humanist Analysis of Ethical Arguments Concerning Germline Genetic Engineering.Faith Louise Lagay - 1999 - Dissertation, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Galveston
Human Gene Therapy: Why Draw a Line?W. French Anderson - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (6):681-693.
Eugenics, the Genome, and Human Rights.Daniel J. Kevles - 2009 - Medicine Studies 1 (2):85-93.
Shaping Individuality: Human Inheritable Germ Line Gene Modification.Maurizio Salvi - 2001 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (6):527-542.
Taming Our Brave New World.Joshua A. Reagan - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (6):621-632.
Justice and the Human Genome Project.Timothy F. Murphy & Marc A. Lappé (eds.) - 1994 - University of California Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-10-16

Total views
61 ( #150,669 of 2,325,694 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #87,993 of 2,325,694 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes