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Genetic Ethics: An Introduction

Genetic Ethics: An Introduction

Colin Farrelly

ISBN: 978-0-745-69507-5

Jul 2018, Polity

200 pages

$19.99

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Description

Colin Farrelly contemplates the various ethical and social quandaries raised by the genetic revolution. Recent biomedical advances such as genetic screening, gene therapy and genome editing might be used to promote equality of opportunity, reproductive freedom, healthy aging, and the prevention and treatment of disease. But these technologies also raise a host of ethical questions: Is the idea of “genetically engineering” humans a morally objectionable form of eugenics? Should parents undergoing IVF be permitted to screen embryos for the sex of their offspring? Would it be ethical to alter the rate at which humans age, greatly increasing longevity at a time when the human population is already at potentially unsustainable levels?

Farrelly applies an original virtue ethics framework to assess these and other challenges posed by the genetic revolution. Chapters discuss virtue ethics in relation to eugenics, infectious and chronic disease, evolutionary biology, epigenetics, happiness, reproductive freedom and longevity. This fresh approach creates a roadmap for thinking ethically about technological progress that will be of practical use to ethicists and scientists for years to come.

Accessible in tone and compellingly argued, this book is an ideal introduction for students of bioethics, applied ethics, biomedical sciences, and related courses in philosophy and life sciences.

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“Past meets future. Farrelly uses the wisdom of the ancients in virtue ethics to provide a compelling analysis of the greatest challenges of our time. Virtue ethics has struggled to offer concrete guidance to action in practical ethics, but, in this new account, Farrelly shows how six virtues can advance debate on the most controversial issues and shed light on what is good for human beings.”
Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford

“Colin Farrelly’s Genetic Ethics fills a significant gap in the vast literature on its subject.”
Allen Buchanan, Duke University