Human Genome Editing: Human Dignity in an Era of Genetic Aristocracy


Genetic Engineering brought to man what, until now, was given to destiny or to God (as it were): the determination of the identity and historicity of man, unique to each being. The creator of man can be, now, a peer, that takes in his hands, especially at the level of the biotechnology promises of human enhancement, the genetic programming of others, altering their genetic heritage and, in the limit, their identity. The possibilities of the breeding of the species are seductive, and even considering the good intentions which one works in this direction, the truth is that, immediately, historical lessons of improvement of the species come to mind. Although we evidently do not compare them, the truth is that the atrocities of World War II and the eugenic justification of the hygienization of the species ended in a genocide. Between the two extreme limits of, in one hand, the duty to use genetic engineering and the multiple scientific solutions to give the best opportunities to our children, improving their characteristics or, at the very opposite, absolute refusal to use them, is an imperative ethical and legal debate that imposes itself in which human dignity will, in our view, be the ultimate criteria of legitimacy. From this debate we need to establish the difference between creating humans or creating things. It is at this historical moment that we find ourselves.

Author Information
Marisa Almeida Araújo, Lusíada University - North (Porto), Portugal
Augusto Meireis, Lusíada University - North (Porto), Portugal

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2019
Stream: Ethics - Medical Ethics

This paper is part of the ACERP2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon