Ethical questions in the age of the new eugenics
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As a result of the publicly funded Human Genome Project (HGP), and an increasing number of private enterprises, a new form of eugenic theory and practice has emerged, differing from previous manifestations. Genetic testing has become a consumer service that may now be purchased at greatly reduced cost. While the old eugenics was pseudoscientific, the new eugenics is firmly based on DNA research. While the old eugenics focused on societal measures against the individual, the new eugenics emphasizes the family as a control agent. Eugenics is now voluntary, with the promise of abortion for those afraid of producing genetically damaged children. The ethical concepts of beneficence, avoidance of maleficence, autonomy, and equity are discussed in terms of aspects of the HGP. One major issue is the need for an ethical system available to health consumers that will empower them and assist in their biogenic decisions.
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- Ethical questions in the age of the new eugenics
Science and Engineering Ethics
Volume 5, Issue 3 , pp 383-394
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- Kluwer Academic Publishers
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- genetic testing
- Human Genome Project
- ethical decision-making