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Designing Our Descendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modifications
     

Designing Our Descendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modifications

by Audrey R. Chapman
 

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The Human Genome Project, discoveries in molecular biology, and new reproductive technologies have advanced our understanding of how genetic science may be used to treat persons with genetic disorders. Greater knowledge may also make possible genetic interventions to "enhance" normal human characteristics, such as height, hair or eye color, strength, or memory, as

Overview

The Human Genome Project, discoveries in molecular biology, and new reproductive technologies have advanced our understanding of how genetic science may be used to treat persons with genetic disorders. Greater knowledge may also make possible genetic interventions to "enhance" normal human characteristics, such as height, hair or eye color, strength, or memory, as well as the transmittal of such modifications to future generations. The prospect of inheritable genetic modifications, or IGMs, whether for therapeutic or enhancement purposes, raises complex scientific, ethical, and regulatory issues.

Designing Our Descendants presents twenty essays by physicians, scientists, philosophers, theologians, lawyers, and policy analysts addressing these issues from diverse perspectives. In three sections, the authors discuss the short- and long-term scientific feasibility of IGM technology; ethical and religious issues related to safety, justice, morality, reproductive rights, and enhancement; and regulatory issues including the necessity of public input and oversight and the influence of commercialization. Their goal is to open a dialogue engaging not only scholars and scientists but also government officials and concerned citizens. The authors conclude that while IGM cannot be carried out safely and responsibly on humans utilizing current methods, it is important to begin public discussion now to determine whether, and if so how, to proceed.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801881299
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Eric M. Meslin

An original and important contribution to the bioethics, genetics, and public policy literature by an impressive group of scholars from across the disciplines.

Eric M. Meslin, Indiana University

Thomas H. Murray

This is the product of a multi-year effort at mutual enlightenment and interdisciplinary analysis, not merely a compilation of individually written papers. It should become the leading volume on human genetic modification.

Thomas H. Murray, President, The Hastings Center

Meet the Author

Audrey R. Chapman is director of the Science and Human Rights Program and senior associate for ethics in the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mark S. Frankel is the director of the Scientific Freedom, Responsibility, and Law Program at American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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