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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A little to stop individuals undergoing genetic interventions...

Before moving on to this however, it is necessary to point out that with respect to enhancements, if our technology developed in such a way as to allow somatic cell interventions that could be contained within the recipient with a high degree of certainty, then there would be little to stop individuals undergoing genetic interventions that would otherwise by considered unacceptable. There is a caveat on this suggestion however, and that is that in most cases interventions that were of a radical nature, say growing extra arms or having skin that changed colour at varying intervals would and should not be paid for out of the public purse. Anyone who wanted an intervention that was of this nature would have to be willing to pay for the procedures themselves. Public funding for genetic interventions should in my view whether or not they are somatic or germ-line be restricted to those interventions that fall within the boundary of treatment and those that are publicly acceptable forms of enhancement. This position will be further discussed later when the issues of social justice and the effects of germ-line interventions are considered.

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