Essay on Is Gene Therapy a Form of Eugenics

1043 Words Apr 13th, 2013 5 Pages
Jeffrey White
Professor Doherty
SO209
28th March, 2013
Is Gene Therapy a Form of Eugenics? In his article Is Gene Therapy a Form of Eugenics, John Harris discusses the concept of Eugenics when it comes to using Gene Therapy. Harris defines Eugenics as adapting to the production of “fine” offspring, or artificially producing offspring to fit certain criteria. He stresses on how this concept should be achieved. His main argument is that we should be in favor of Eugenics when it comes to potentially saving a child from living a potential disabled life. Harris believes that his view is not wrong, but believes that it is a matter of indifference whether we call it Eugenics or not. Harris argues that Gene Therapy is ethically sound, and
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The moral theory that best explains Harris’ argument is Subjective relativism. In this theory moral rightness/wrongness are relative to individuals. If the individual approves of it, then it makes the action right. Harris constantly discusses the individuals making the right choice in this specific situation. Another theory that can be linked to his argument is the Consequentialist theory. In this theory people believe that what make an action right are its consequences. The rightness of an action depends on the amount of good it produces. If a parent believes that by using Eugenics will allow their child to live a long life then they are looking at the good that will come from saving the embryos future life. Harris would look at how much good would come from the consequences in performing Eugenics, or not using Eugenics and producing a child with a potential short life. He would note that using Eugenics would create the most favorable good for all parties even if some may look at Eugenics as morally wrong. Harris would think that following through with an embryo with a disabled genetic makeup would be morally wrong, due to the child’s potential “harmed” life. When it comes to my opinion on this matter, I can honestly say I am on the fence about it. I believe that it is necessary to save an embryo from a short or disabled life if possible. However, in my personal life I have seen examples where

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