Ethical Issues Arising from the Possible Uses of Genetic Knowledge

  • Tracy M. Sonneborn


I realize that I am probably a fool to rush into the ethical domain where angels—the philosphers, ethicists, theologians, and lawyers—do not fear to tread. But these ethical problems concern us all, and not the least among us, the geneticists. I submit that after we listen carefully to what the professional theologians, ethicists, and philosophers have to say, as many of us have, then we, too, may speak up and tell about our own attempts to see our way through the difficult problems that beset us. This dialogue has now been going on with increasing frequency during the last eight years, and some of my fellow scientists have written and spoken very thoughtfully on the subject. They are not in complete agreement, but neither are the theologians, ethicists, and philosophers. I assume that the purpose of this conference is to encourage further communication between physicians and geneticists, on the one hand, and philosophers, theologians, ethicists, and lawyers on the other hand. Perhaps it is significant that a geneticist has been given the opening spot at the conference, but that lawyers and a historian will have the last words.


Ethical Issue Ethical Decision Ethical Judgment Genetic Surgery Genetic Knowledge 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1976

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  • Tracy M. Sonneborn

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