The Biomedical Paradigm



Of the three human enhancement paradigms to be discussed in this book, this chapter deals with the biomedical one. This paradigm is based on the therapy-enhancement distinction and is by far the dominating human enhancement paradigm within the enhancement discourse. In order to better grasp the values and perspectives held by this human enhancement paradigm, this chapter starts with an overview of the different concepts used within the biomedical enhancement paradigm, namely disease, health and the goals of medicine. These concepts are rarely included in ethical analyses of emergent technologies when used for biomedical or human enhancement applications. However, as Marianne Boenink and others have argued, these concepts are relevant to ethical debates on emergent technologies (Boenink, 2009; McKenny, 1997; Sandler, 2009). In particular, there are two main reasons for holding such a claim:
  1. 1.

    A better understanding of the concepts underlying the therapy-enhancement debate could help us determine whether or not we should keep debating issues around human enhancement based on these concepts.

  2. 2.

    Understanding the different concepts underlying the biomedical paradigm could enable a more fruitful debate regarding the desirability of the values promoted by this paradigm.



Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Deep Brain Stimulation Human Dignity Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Human Enhancement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Laura Y. Cabrera 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaCanada

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