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.

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The Ethics of a Brave New World: A Response to ‘Baby-Making'

The presentation offers a thought-provoking examination of the impact of science, entertainment, and social change on what it means to be human. This presentation was part of an evening event co-sponsored by CBHD and the Trinity International University Drama Department in Spring 2011. Dr. Linholm’s presentation was offered in response to a lecture by CBHD executive director, Paige Comstock Cunningham, JD, titled “Baby-Making: The Fractured Fulfillment of Huxley’s Brave New World.”

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

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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.

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