Genetics

Paul Ramsey and Preconceptive Eugenics

 In his surprisingly prescient book entitled Fabricated Man: The Ethics of Genetic Control, the U.S. bioethicist Paul Ramsey demonstrates in 1970 an exceptional premonition of things to come. This includes developments in new reproductive procedures, such as human cloning, and other proposals such as those promoting a post-human future. On the topic of eugenics,[1] furthermore, Ramsey advances his views of possible developments though some of them may be more than a bit controversial. Indeed, he indicates that not all forms of eugenics should be seen as ethically problematic. Some may even be considered as acceptable. This is especially the case with preconceptive eugenics whereby an action takes place before an embryo is created in order to only have a healthy child.

Podcast Episode: 
173

Baby-Making: The Fractured Fulfillment of Huxley's Brave New World, Part II

We have reviewed the legal and cultural changes that led to widespread use of ART and the creation of thousands of frozen embryos. We have examined the risks and consequences for mothers and their children. We have taken a quick look at some of the social implications. Now, I would like to return to a point I raised in the beginning . . . the Orwellian overtones of some aspects of ART. This is the part that has its rationale in the eugenics of the early 20th century.

Podcast Episode: 
160

Genetic Testing: Ethics, Regulation, and Online Accessibility

People are often uncomfortable with the unknown. This is even more the case with our health, where people want to know as much as possible about potential diseases. With the rapid advances in medical science and technologies, notably the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, people are turning to their genetic make-up to fill in some of the answers. Yet, caught up in the desire to find out all we can about ourselves, we may unwittingly create more unknowns in the process.

Podcast Episode: 
171

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