Practical And Professional Ethics

Read Complete Research Material


Medical Ethics on Genetic Engineering from a Christian Ethics Perspective

Medical Ethics on Genetic Engineering from a Christian Ethics Perspective


The power that results from new genetic knowledge also raises concerns about the ethics of social policies and the boundaries between individual liberties and social responsibilities. For example, should society develop policies designed to encourage either positive or negative eugenics? Should individuals with serious genetic disorders be given full procreative liberty?

Another area of social concern has to do with the use of society's resources. Questions can be raised about the amount of social resources that should be spent for interventions in human genetics when more basic health care is not fully available. Other questions arise concerning the distribution of the benefits and burdens of genetic interventions and how they will be shared by rich and poor within society.

Christianity describes the place of tradition in the humanities with characteristic eloquence. The growth of insight-in science, in the arts, in philosophy and theology-has not come through progressively sloughing off more and more of tradition, as though insight would be purest and deepest when it has finally freed itself of the dead past. It simply has not worked that way in the history of the tradition, and its does not work that way now. By including the dead in the circle of discourse, we enrich the quality of the conversation. (Pelikan, 1984)


The theoretical challenges before the medical ethics in genetic engineering will be complicated because virtue and duty-based ethics are today isolated from a more comprehensive moral philosophy that could tell us why we must be moral and what we define as the moral life.

Most writers on medical or bio-ethics seem to share a conviction that the correct way to make moral judgments-decisions about specific cases or types of cases-is to proceed deductively: by a progression from moral theory, through intermediate principles, maxims or rules, finally to the judgment itself. We justify our moral judgments in the opposite direction: by appealing to intermediate level principles, maxims or rules, which are justified in turn by the moral theory from which they have been deduced. If this is essentially how moral reasoning proceeds and is justified, then we would be correct to call medical ethics a species of applied moral philosophy, since it would consist in the more-or-less straightforward application of abstract, general moral theories.

''Nothing inhuman is alien to me'' - this principle was proposed by Andre´ Glucksman as a basic rule of postmodern society. In a society which accepts similar commandments, the traditional model of humanism would be called in question. It has important consequences for bioethical issues brought about by scientific discoveries which follow the use of nanotechnology, the so called postgenome medical paradigm, the novel eugenics of the market place. In this new context, on the one hand Francis Fukuyama (Fukuyama, 2002.) declares that the perspective of reproductive cloning and genetic engineering could rapidly bring about a ''posthuman society'' if only unrestricted biotechnological manipulations would result in a program of introducing ...
Related Ads