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Is the practice of eugenics ethical? Show more Show less
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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 ethical Show more Show less

Eugenics improves biological fitness by enhancing the quality of genetic populations and increasing the chances of desirable human traits. The practice also reduces the likelihood of inheritable diseases and abnormalities.
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Modern science has changed eugenics for the better

As medical field has progressed, there have been more ethical regulations that professionals must follow. These guidelines ensure the ethical practice of eugenics.
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The Argument

The modern boundaries ensure that the practice of eugenics is ethical. The primary motivation behind modern eugenic practices is improving the overall health of the human race. People that decide to alter the genetic makeup of their child in the womb are doing so in order to ensure a healthier child. [1]It allows a way to eliminate negative traits that may harm the child’s health. In addition, a patient can voluntarily undergo gene therapy in order to improve their ability to fight disease. [2]All of this is done by the free will of the parents or the patient, making it an ethical practice. The role of ethics in the scientific community has drastically improved since the first eugenics movement in the United States and Europe over the 1900s.[3] The dangers of abuse have been addressed through the passing of documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Organizations like the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues have set up programs to safeguard ethical eugenic practices. [4]These practices foster an environment for patients to make safe and ethical decisions.

Counter arguments

Even with regulations and guidelines, there is always the potential of eugenics being abused again. While it is more difficult to abuse it on a national scale as in the 1900s, it can still be abused on an individual basis. Eugenics can be used for all sorts of enhancements beyond helping a person battling disease. This can easily lead to the abuse of eugenics by creating inequality between those than have the resources to undergo physical enhancements and those that cannot or choose not to.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Modern science has caused more ethical boundaries to ensure ethical practices. [P2] Eugenics is a modern scientific practice. [P3] Therefore, eugenics is ethical.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1129063/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/gene-therapy/about/pac-20384619#:~:text=Gene%20therapy%20replaces%20a%20faulty,%2C%20diabetes%2C%20hemophilia%20and%20AIDS.
  3. https://www.history.com/topics/germany/eugenics
  4. https://pged.org/history-eugenics-and-genetics/

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020 at 13:43 UTC

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