By A. Nordgren
MORAL accountability AND THE HUMAN GENOME undertaking The Human Genome undertaking (HGP) is now nearly accomplished. A draft of the entire DNA series of the human genome has lately been released (lnt. Hum. Gen. Seq. Cons., 2001; Venter et al., 2001). The undertaking begun in 1990 and was once deliberate to be accomplished fifteen years later. lt is now sincerely prior to agenda. yet even if the undertaking is done a lot paintings remains-the research of the functionality of the 30-40,000 genes within the human genome is past the scope of the venture and willlast for many years. besides the fact that, even earlier than the HGP began, it was once relatively debatable from a moral perspective; no longer quite a bit end result of the sequencing paintings as such, yet due to its expected results. the result of the undertaking should be used, for instance, in constructing genetic assessments, genetically tailored medicinal drugs, and gene treatments. a few humans worry that genetic checking out could lead on to discrimination in coverage and on the place of work. a few view the pharmaceutical businesses' examine on genetically tailored medicinal drugs as an unacceptable commercialization of technology. a few expect that the advance of gene remedy will supply upward thrust to a society within which mom and dad are looking to layout excellent infants with genetic enhancement techniques.
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Extra resources for Responsible Genetics: The Moral Responsibility of Geneticists for the Consequences of Human Genetics Research
This normative view clearly belongs to the 'moral tinkering' approach and can be more precisely classified as a kind of casuistry. The main argument for this view is that it seems to fit in very weil with the empirical findings of cognitive semantics. In the light of these findings, it is a psychologicaily realistic kind of normative ethics. However, before I develop this kind of normative position, I shall briefly discuss some other normative ethical views: first, Kantianism and utilitarianism; secondly, 'principlism' and 'reflective equilibirum'; and, thirdly, three versions of casuistry that have been particularly important in modern bioethics, namely the approach proposed by Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin, the view advocated by Baruch Brody, and Carson Strong's version.
In act utilitarianism, one seeks to determine in each case which act would maximize expected utility. In rule utilitarianism, one focuses on the rule or set of rules the implementation of which would maximize the expected utility. The weaknesses of Kantianism and utilitarianism are well-known. A common objection to Kantianism is that it is unable to handle situations in which one has obligations to two or more persons and cannot treat all of them as ends in themselves. An example from a clinical context of such conflicting duties is when parents refuse aggressive life-preserving treatment for children with serious birth injuries (Strong, 1997, p.
However, before I develop this kind of normative position, I shall briefly discuss some other normative ethical views: first, Kantianism and utilitarianism; secondly, 'principlism' and 'reflective equilibirum'; and, thirdly, three versions of casuistry that have been particularly important in modern bioethics, namely the approach proposed by Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin, the view advocated by Baruch Brody, and Carson Strong's version. After my presentation of these ethical views as weil as my own proposal, I shail finally compare this proposal with another position, namely virtue ethics.
Responsible Genetics: The Moral Responsibility of Geneticists for the Consequences of Human Genetics Research by A. Nordgren