What is Human Enhancement? Human enhancement has emerged in recent years as a blossoming topic in applied ethics. With continuing advances in science and technology, people are beginning to realize that some of the basic parameters of the human condition might be changed in the future. One important way in which the human condition could be changed is through the enhancement of basic human capacities.
Foundations A parent is someone with weighty rights and responsibilities regarding a given child. Parents usually have decision-making rights over most areas of their child's life and rights to exclude others from making such decisions. So long as parents fulfill requirements to nourish, educate, and provide healthcare for their children, they may make many decisions over how and what their child eats, dresses, plays, studies, and with whom he or she interacts.
Section 5 surveys controversies regarding the content of these rights and responsibilities.
These categories present problems at the margins. While the idea of a biological parent seems self-evident, modern reproductive technology complicates it, as a child can have genetic parents gamete providers, who supply the sperm or egg and a third, gestational, parent.
Each of these is a biological parent, by virtue of making a biological contribution to producing the Biotechnology essay ethics genetic policy prospect public.
Possible technologies such as human cloning involving transfer of a nucleus to an egg cell, or three-person ART, in which the nucleus of a fertilized egg would be transferred to a second egg for medical reasons, introduce further complications, as additional genetic material—mitochondrial DNA—would be supplied by the egg cell.
Biological parents are commonly distinguished from social parents, who rear the child and are socially perceived as responsible for it. Adoptive parents, or parents who rear children created with donated gametes and gestated by a third party, are social, but not biological, parents.
Biological parents need not be social parents, as biological parents give up children for adoption, donate gametes, or work as gestational mothers. The category of social parent presents borderline cases when a given community does not socially recognize those rearing a child as parents.
This might occur with a mother's unmarried partner, two friends rearing children together, other relatives like grandparents rearing the child, or when a community participates in child-rearing. Legal and moral criteria for the acquisition of parental rights and responsibilities should clearly designate whom society should recognize as having them.
Legal parenthood consists in possessing legal parental rights and responsibilities. In the US, a pregnant woman's husband is generally presumed to be her child's legal father: This has faced legal challenges from genetic fathers Rosenman ; see Hubin on fatherhood.
The rise of ART has prompted many questions regarding assignment of legal parenthood when there are contending claims—as between a couple who commissioned a contract pregnancy and the contracting gestational mother.
They have also stretched the understanding of parenthood, as when the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized three legal parents A.
Legal, social, and biological parenthood can be conceptually distinguished; however, parenthood is arguably fundamentally a moral relationship, and its moral assignment should be considering in answering the preceding questions.
Moral parenthood is possession of moral parental rights and responsibilities. These may differ in content from legal rights and responsibilities—we might think parents morally ought to do more than they are legally required, for example. The moral grounds for assigning parental rights can also differ from their legal assignment.
Of course, legal assignment of parenthood may trigger moral obligations, due to a general moral obligation to obey the law or because the legal parent is best-placed to rear the child. But moral theories of parenthood give independent grounds for parental rights from the standpoint of which particular legal arrangements may be criticized.
The interrelation of legal, moral, social, and biological parenthood depends on the particular moral theory of how one becomes a parent.
For example, on a genetic account, biology determines moral parental status, whereas on an intentional account, biology will be less morally salient.
Section 4 reviews these theories. A right to procreate, or procreative autonomy, could be construed as a negative or positive right. As a negative right, it would be a right against coercive interference in decisions regarding procreation. As a positive right, it would be an entitlement to assistance in procreation.
This entry does not consider abortion. Although positions on procreative autonomy are not independent of positions on abortion, the extensive philosophical debate about abortion must be dealt with independently. The issue of contraception can be touched on briefly here.
While some religious views oppose contraception, this position is not widely defended in philosophical ethics. In some jurisdictions, pharmacists opposing abortion have a legal right to refuse to dispense emergency contraception, on the medically controversial grounds that it acts as an abortifacient.
This right has been defended on the grounds that pharmacists' freedom of conscience outweighs mere inconvenience to women if they can obtain the drug elsewhere. But others have argued that such refusals constitute serious harms to women, not mere inconveniences, and that similar objections would not be permitted in non-procreative cases, such as a vegetarian pharmacist who refused to dispense materials tested on animals LaFollette and LaFollette ; Fenton and Lomasky ; McLeod ; Kelleher biotechnology, especially in the U.S., is the extent to which the genome science policy process has remained largely impervious to the fears, hopes and concerns of the public.
As illustrated by the.
Among the recent genome editing technologies, CRISPR-based methods are particularly promising owing to their relative efficiency, low cost; and ease of use, and the prospect of making edits at multiple sites in the genome in a single procedure.
More fundamentally, biotechnology bears “the prospect of an artificially created biodiversity”, e.g. by seeking to “smooth out” nature via a genetic-level control (, p.
). Thus biotechnological solutions can change the terms of reference for biodiversity, biological pest control and sustainable agriculture. In Human Dignity in the Biotech Century: A Christian Vision for Public Policy, some of the most active voices in the American bioethics debate reflect on the promise and perils of biotechnology, but especially the perils.
This collection surveys a wide range of novel biological experiments: the. U.S. Public Wary of Biomedical Technologies to ‘Enhance’ Human Abilities. Americans are more worried than enthusiastic about using gene editing, brain chip implants and synthetic blood to change human capabilities.
Thinking Ethically About Human Biotechnology Margaret R.
McLean, Ph.D. Modern biotechnology, with its focus on molecular biology and its concern for increasing human health and life spans, is all about the future.