Eugenics Discrimination And Stigmatization

Another focus of ethical concern arises out of perceptions of the public health agenda in genetic screening as the prevention of avoidable genetic disorders or a reduction in their incidence. From this perspective the emphasis on facilitating autonomy and choice is not held to be convincing. Either overtly or through the cumulative effect of the choices of large numbers of individuals, policies that are regarded as eugenic may be feared. In another context an argument against allowing people to...

Nuclear Power And Uncertainty

Many estimates and evaluations of nuclear power involve scientific and probabilistic uncertainty. There is, for example, uncertainty regarding actual radiation exposure levels, particular people's sensitivity levels, the likelihood of dangerous consequences in a specific case, the given causal chains of harm, and so on. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) representatives admit that Chernobyl could cause up to 28,000 fatal cancers in the former Soviet Union, Scandinavia, and Europe over the next 50...

Parents Right of Reproductive Freedom

The argument most commonly advanced for permitting human cloning is that, at least in some cases, human cloning falls under the range of personal liberties granted in Western societies, specifically under parents' right of reproductive freedom or ''procreative liberty.'' Having a biological connection to one's own children is believed by many to contribute to the most personally satisfying parent-child relationships. Through that link, parents participate in the creation of a person and affirm...

Replacement Arguments and Personal Identity

A specific class of arguments based on an intriguing observation about personal identity have become a standard feature of discussions about ethics and embryology. These are the so-called replacement arguments which all proceed from the observations that (a) if a woman conceives a child this month, the child will be different from the child she could have conceived next month, because they will come from the union of different gametes and be genetically different, and more generally (b) any...

Alternative Theories Of Life Vitalism Vs Mechanism

Here we face an important philosophical issue which is crucial for different concepts of life and also for the place that we assign to humankind, since we ourselves are living organisms. Such a controversy, which is often labeled as mechanism vs. vitalism, was already known in ancient Greek where atomists held a form of mechanism according to which life is a kind of self-moving matter, while Platonists defended a sort of vitalism posing a sharp distinction between matter and life. Aristotle...

Antenatal Screening

Antenatal screening for genetic disorders and malformation is offered to most pregnant women in developed countries, and also to many women in developing countries. There are five types of genetic screening tests to mention in this article. 1. Amniocentesis entails taking a sample of the fluid from around the fetus. This is usually performed at about 16 weeks' gestation and permits the chromosomal analysis of cultured cells from the fluid. This may be carried out in the context of a couple's...