Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 73–77 | Cite as

Genetics' dreams in the post genomics era

  • Maurizio Salvi


In this paper I explore the heuristic limits ofhuman genetics, in particular the claim that itis possible to manipulate human germcells in a pre-ordinate way (Gordon, 1999). I arguethat this claim is unrealistic based ongenetic reductionism and a wrong concept ofgenetic diseases.

disease-concept gene therapy genetic reductionism germline therapy potential treatment and ethics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barbour, V.: 2000, 'The Balance of Risk and Benefit in Gene-Therapy', The Lancet 353, January 29, 384.Google Scholar
  2. Caplan, A.: 1992, If I Were a Rich Man Could I Buy a Pancreas? And Other Essays on the Ethics of Health Care. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cohen, D.: 1997, 'Birth of Infant after Transfer of Anucleate Donor Oocyte Cytoplasm into Recipient Eggs', The Lancet, 186-187.Google Scholar
  4. Daniels, N.: 1992, 'Growth Hormone Therapy for Short Stature: Can We Support the Treatment/Enhancement Distinction?', Growth: Genetics and Hormones 8 (Supplement 1), 46-48.Google Scholar
  5. Dutton, G.: 2000, 'Debating Gene Therapy's Future', Genetic Engineering News 1, 1-11.Google Scholar
  6. Frankel, M. and Chapman, A.: 2001, Human Inheritable Genetic Modifications Assessing Scientific, Ethical, Religious, and Policy Issues (AAAS report), http://www.aaas. org/spp/dspp/sfrl/germline/main.htm.Google Scholar
  7. Glover, J.: 1984, What Sort of People Should There Be? Genetic Engineering Brain Control and Their Impact on Our Future World. N.Y.: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  8. Gordon, J.: 1999, 'Genetic Enhancement in Humans', Science 283, 2023-2024.Google Scholar
  9. Harris, J.: 1992, Superman and Wonderwomen: the ethics of human biotechnology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Juengst, E.: 1991, 'Human Germ-Line Engineering', Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16(6), 587-694.Google Scholar
  11. Lewontin, R.: 1998, Gene, Organismo e Ambiente. Roma: Editori Laterza.Google Scholar
  12. Marshall, E.: 1999, 'Gene Therapy Death Prompts Review of Adenovirus Vector', Science 286, 2244-2245.Google Scholar
  13. Rubenstein, S. et al.: 1995, 'Germ-Line Therapy to Cure Mitochondrial Disease and Ethics of In Vitro Ovum Nuclear Transplantation', Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 4, 316-339.Google Scholar
  14. Salvi, M.: 1996, 'Biotecnologie e terzo mondo un problema di giustizia', Qualita' Equita' Rivista del welfare del futuro 3, 111-123.Google Scholar
  15. Salvi, M.: 1997, 'How Calculating the Utility of Human Germline Gene Transformations? A critic to the Utilitarianism in Bioethics', EJAIB Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 7, 36-38.Google Scholar
  16. Salvi, M.: 1998, 'Human Genetics and the integrity of Self: Germline Gene Therapy', in: D. Macer and N. Fujiki (eds.), Bioethics in Asia. Cristchurch NZ: Eubios Press, pp. 278-284.Google Scholar
  17. Smaglick, P.: 1999a, 'Animal Studies Boost Gene Therapy Vector's Prospects', The Scientist 13(8), 9.Google Scholar
  18. Smaglik, P.: 1999b, 'Monkey/Human Chimera Gaining Favour in AIDS Research', The Scientist, August 30, 13.Google Scholar
  19. Suzuki, D. and Knudson, P.: 1987, Genethics, the Ethics of Engineering Life. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  20. Tauer, C.: 1995, 'Human Growth Hormone: A Case Study in Treatment Priorities', Hastings Center Report 25(3), 18-20.Google Scholar
  21. Watson, J.: 1998, 'Good Gene, Bad Gene', Time Special Issue 'The new age of discovery', 86-88.Google Scholar
  22. White, G.B.: 1993, 'Human Growth Hormone: The Dilemma of Expanded Use in Children', Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 3(4), 401-409.Google Scholar
  23. Wilkie, T.: 1993, Perilous Knowledge The Human Genome Project and its Implications. London: Faber & Faber Press.Google Scholar
  24. Winnaker, E.: 1987, From Genes to Clones Introduction to Gene Technology. Weinheim: Verlasgsgesellschaft.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio Salvi
    • 1
  1. 1.European CommissionDG RTD, SDME 8/4BruxellesBelgium

Personalised recommendations