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Ethical Aspects of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Ethical Aspects of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
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Author(s): Stefano Fait (University of St. Andrews, Scotland)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 17
Source title: Handbook of Research on Technoethics
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Rebecca Adell (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-022-6.ch010

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Abstract

In assessing the ethical implications of genomics and biotechnology, it is important to acknowledge that science, technology, and bioethics do not exist in a vacuum and are not socially, politically and ethically neutral. Certain technologies have a greater social impact, may require the State to intervene in the private sphere, and may be differentially accessible to users. Also, science and technology can change our relationship with other people and with our environment. Hence the importance of ethnographic, historical, and cross-cultural studies for the analysis of today’s thorniest bioethical controversies. This chapter discusses some of the most controversial issues surrounding the use of genetic technology in human procreation and gene patenting, including eugenics, genetic consumerism, animal-human hybrids (chimeras), the commodification of life, disability and genetic testing.

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