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The Ethics of Inheritable Genetic Modification: A Dividing Line?

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Overview

Is inheritable genetic modification the new dividing line in gene therapy? The editors of this searching investigation, representing clinical medicine, public health and biomedical ethics, have established a distinguished team of scientists and scholars to address the issues from the perspectives of biological and social science, law and ethics, including an intriguing Foreword from Peter Singer. Their purpose is to consider how society might deal with the ethical concerns raised by inheritable genetic modification, and to re-examine prevailing views about whether these procedures will ever be ethically and socially justifiable. The book also provides background to define the field, and discusses the biological and technological potential for inheritable genetic modification, its limitations, and its connection with gene therapy, cloning, and other reproductive interventions. For scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, counsellors and public commentators, this is an essential contribution to one of the critical debates in current genetics.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Lisa M Gehrke, JD, MA (Gehrke & Associates, SC)
Description: The editors provide a thought-provoking collection of articles addressing the ethical, scientific, philosophical, and sociological issues arising out of research involving the modification of inheritable genetic information. It challenges readers to consider the topic from multiple, and often opposing, perspectives.
Purpose: This book poses the question of whether the modification of inheritable genetic traits is, or should be, the new dividing line in gene therapy. In response to the question, the editors present an extraordinary compilation of articles which thoughtfully and accurately represent the variety of viewpoints on the issue.
Audience: According to the editors, this book is written for scientists, clinicians, bioethicists, attorneys, or anyone interested in public policy and debate regarding biotechnology and genetic research. They have succeeded in providing a well reasoned and authoritative collection of articles which will be of benefit to anyone interested in the field.
Features: This book examines ethical considerations in research involving the modification of inheritable genetic information from several points of view including those of scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, philosophers, social workers, and public policy advocates. In their selections, the editors demonstrate the broad and divergent scope of opinions on this issue.
Assessment: I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the ethical issues raised by gene therapy and genetic modification. The articles provide an excellent sampling of the issues raised by the research and possible solutions or points of concern.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521822770
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Forward: shopping at the genetic supermarket Peter Singer; 1. Is Inheritable genetic modification the new dividing line? John E. J. Rasko, Gabrielle M. O'Sullivan and Rachel A. Ankeny; 2. The science of inheritable genetic modification John E. J. Rasko and Douglas J. Jolly; 3. Nuclear cloning, embryonic stem cells, and gene transfer Rudolf Jaenisch; 4. Controlling bodies and creating monsters: popular perceptions of genetic modifications Christoph Rehmann-Sutter; 5. Inheritable genetic modification as moral responsibility in a creative universe Denis Kenny; 6. Ethics and welfare issues in animal genetic modification Gabrielle M. O'Sullivan; 7. Radical rupture: exploring biological sequelae of volitional inheritable genetic modification Fran├žoise Baylis and Jason Scott Robert; 8. Altering the human species? Misplaced essentialism in science policy Eric T. Juengst; 9. Traditional and feminist bioethical perspectives on gene transfer: is inheritable genetic modification really the problem? Rosemarie Tong; 10. Inheritable genetic modification and disability: normality and identity Jackie Leach Scully; 11. Regulating inheritable genetic modification, or policing the fertile scientific imagination? A feminist legal response Isabel Karpin and Roxanne Mykitiuk; 12. Inheritable genetic modification: clinical applications and genetic counseling considerations Joan A. Scott; 13. Can bioethics speak to politics about the prospect of inheritable genetic modification? If so, what might it say? Roberta M. Berry; Glossary John E. J. Rasko, Gabrielle M. O'Sullivan and Rachel A. Ankeny; Index.

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