RE: Gene Therapy & Ethics [was Re: AI Backlash] (fwd)

Robert J. Bradbury (
Wed, 11 Aug 1999 14:36:28 -0700 (PDT)

:> So, in other words, this is such a sticky problem that we should have
> government make all the decisions? Somehow, that seems less than ideal to
> me.

No, you should know me better than that. I generally view authoratarian solutions as poor. The two very *fuzzy* points, that I belive *society* needs to discuss are -- Is any germline engineering justifyable? and If you can do germline engineering -- where do you stop? (society can impose behavior norms where governments would never tread -- even though they may be wrong!!)

> Or do you really want to see a regulatory agency defining "enhancement",
> "treatment", "necessity" and so forth according to whatever political
> forces happen to apply at the time?

I think a "regulatory agency" would never really work. I think more awareness on the part of perspective parents on the pressures, desires, "genetic drives", etc. that they feel and dictate their actions would be useful.

Why should you *care* if your children are smart/beautiful/successful, etc.? If you do care, are you *absolutely sure* that you are making such opinions of your own free will or whether you have programmed into thinking such by million year old genetic machinery?