EDST 391 Ethics & the Human Genome
From human enhancement to prenatal enhancement?
Bari and Danielle's day!
Humans," Mark S. Frankel & Cristina J. Kapustij. Pp. 55-58 in From Birth to Death and Bench to Clinic: The Hastings Center Bioethics Briefing Book for
Journalists, Policymakers, and Campaigns, ed. Mary Crowley (Garrison, NY: The Hastings Center, 2008).
- Make me a superhero: The pleasures and pitfalls of body
enhancement, by Andy Miah, guardian.co.uk, April 30, 2009.
- Please think of one time in the last few days when you did something to alter your body or brain, for example, used cologne,
perfume, or makeup; exercised to reduce weight or increase muscle mass; drank coffee to be more alert; etc.
- What was it?
- Why did you do it?
- How did it make you feel?
- Are people who do not care about improving their appearance at a disadvantage or looked down on? Please explain.
- Do the newer forms of bodily enhancement (such as plastic surgery, lasic eye surgery, steroids, makeup, unprescribed drugs to magnify concentration and short term
memory) raise new ethical questions or dilemmas? If so, what are they?
- Do you agree or disagree with the following assertions? Support your view by drawing on points in the readings.
Claim: Since it is ethical for adults to enhance their bodies, then it is also ethical for parents
to enhance their children's bodies prior to birth. Agree or disagree? Why?
- Claim: If we assume that it is ethical to change the genetic makeup of
embryos to protect them from being born with a disease or disability (assume "yes" for the moment), then it is also ethical to change their genetic makeup to improve
"normal" traits. Agree or disagree? Why?
- There will be a short quiz at the beginning of class.