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Ethical Challenges in a Post Genome Era

Charles P. Delisi - Dean, Boston University College of Engineering


  • Efficiency of Cloning in Humans Unknown; Low in Other Vertebrates
  • No Knowledge of Life Span

Kant’s Categorical Imperative

Creating a twin whose purpose is to serve as a replicate violates universal moral principles. It is the extreme version of using another individual to serve one’s own purposes and it displays a profound disregard for the inherent worth of others.

Is a Delayed Genetic Twin a Replicate?

  • Mutations
  • Absence of mitochondrial DNA
  • Environment

The Danger of Extreme Nationalism

  • Different Views of Safety and Responsibility
  • Dangers of the well-intentioned use of Technology

Other Considerations

  • The Obligatory Pursuit of Knowledge
  • The Controlled Use of Technology to Improve the Human Condition
  • Civil Liberties / Freedom of Inquiry

Genomics and Moral Responsibility

  • Diagnostics
  • Cures
  • Cosmetics

Challenges to Civil Liberties: Privacy vs. the Right to Know

  • Insurance
  • Employment
  • Employment to Others
  • Responsibilities to Others

Genomics and Moral Responsibility

  • As Individuals (personal)
  • As a Society (national)
  • As a Family of Human Beings (international)

Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: Boston University. Video adapted from the Issues for the Millennium Workshop

Ethical Challenges in a Post Genome Era

Introduction: Jensine Andresen and Robert Neville
John Westling - Introduction: Do we have dominion over ourselves?
Overcoming Preconception Relating to Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Implications of Animal Cloning Experiments for the Potential Cloning of Human Beings
Production of Embryonic Stem Cells from Differentiated Somatic Cells
Application of Cloning to the Production of Biopharmaceuticals to Treat Human and Animal Disease
Xenotransplantation and its Associated Safety and Ethical Issues
Excluding Life from Patenting: Arguments against the Patenting of Genes
Science Panel Discussion
Human Rights and the New Genetics
Human Rights and Cloning
Democratizing Decision Making Relating to Biotechnology
Genetics, the Market, and Policy
Much Ado About Mutton: An Ethical Review of the Cloning Controversy
Why Worry about Human Cloning?
Modified Natural-Law Approach to Genetic Technologies
Ethics Panel Discussion
The World is Our Parish...So...?
Re-engineering Creation: Theological Reservations Concerning Genetic Technology
Possible Presbyterian Responses to Cloning
Biostewardish Updates
No, Not Yet, Maybe, and Why Not: Protestant Ambivalence Or Moral Discretion?
Beginning Reflections of One Unitarian Universalist on Cloning and Genetic Technologies
A Catholic Perspective on Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Created in Whose Image and Likeness? An Orthodox Christian Approach to Human Cloning
Thomas Shannon - "Playing God"
But Who Speaks for Me? The Need for the Religous Voice in Bioethics
In God's Garden: Creation and Cloning in Jewish Thought
A Jewish Perspective on Cloning and Other Techniques to Overcome Infertility
Islamic Perspectives on Cloning and Genetic Enginerring
A Hindu View based on Dharma, Karma and Yoga of Human Cloning and Genetic Technologies
The Bioethics of Interdependence: Shin Buddhist Attitudes on Human Cloning
Moral Imagination
Interreligious Panel Discussion
Science and the Courts
Beyond Biology: Regulating Ownership in a Knowledge-based Economy
Biotechnology and International Trade
Disharmonization in Agricultural Biotechnology
Historical Notes Relating to the Patenting of Biological Inventions
Should Morality be Within the Purview of Patent Law?
The International Treatment of Biotechnological Intellectual Property (BIP)
Legal Issues Panel Discussion
Science, Politics and Ethics of Cloning and Genetic Engineering: Who will Decide the Future of Humankind?
Cloning and Beyond: Making Laws for Making Babies
Issues For the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies - Index


Boston University

See also:

Pain and Suffering
Books on Biology, Genetics and Theology
Dolly the Cloned Sheep
Egg Manipulation
DNA Double-Helix