It is difficult to disconnect the 20th century's unethical genetic practices from any modern discussion of eugenics. This history makes many people uncomfortable with the idea of genetic engineering. Since then, scientific practices have become far more ethical. Do modern eugenics overshadow the unethical past? Will the practice of eugenics always be unethical?
Eugenics is unethicalShow moreShow less
Eugenics ultimately leads to a loss of genetic diversity. The practice of eugenics is heavily biased against non-white races, the mentally ill, and lower-class citizens. It also targets those with traits that are considered “deficient” genes. Eugenics is historically tied to Nazi Germany, and promoted by Adolf Hitler during World War II.
Modern eugenics calls to mind the dark past of the eugenics movement during the 1900s. Between the abuse that took place in America and and the horrors of Nazi Germany, it is clear that eugenics can only ever be abused.
The introduction of human eugenics in the United States led to negative consequences. Involuntary sterilization, discrimination, and widespread support of euthanizing children became commonplace during the eugenics movement in the United States. Even after sterilization support died down in the 1970s, women were still involuntarily sterilized because it was never outlawed. The lack of regulations following the eugenics movement raises the ever-present fear of eugenic practices being abused again.
Additionally, the way that eugenics was abused in Nazi Germany raises concerns. After World War II, the Nuremberg court revealed men that were involved in killing disabled people. One argument made in the court was that they were only supporting the eugenic ideals that stemmed from America. Although this probably was not the intention of America, it became an unintentional influence that was abused. Therefore, eugenic practices are unethical and will only ever be abused.
Since the eugenics movement, more guidelines have been instituted to ensure that the procedures involved in eugenics are ethical. Despite the dark past of the Holocaust, eugenics has broken away from those practices. Modern eugenics is focused on changing the genes of a person, not eliminating others that do not have a specific trait as Nazi Germany did during the Holocaust.
[P1] Eugenics has been abused in the past.
[P2] Practices that are abused should be considered unethical.
[P3] Therefore, eugenics is unethical.