— Two major San Francisco Bay Area newspapers have recently
published op-ed pieces arguing against germline enhancement
"Smarter Mice—And Men? Enhancing Desired Traits Undermines
We Are," Zach Hall, Vice-Chancellor of Research, UC San
(San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29/99). Hall argues that attempts
to genetically engineer human "enhancements" are likely
undesirable medical consequences that cannot be known for many
years, and are likely to exacerbate social inequality and
undermine people's sense of self. To see this article on the
web, go to http://www.sfgate.com
and search for "Zach Hall."
"Human Cloning is a Disaster in the Making: A Scientist's
Dr. Michael Goldman, San Francisco State University (Sacramento
Bee, 9/19/99). Goldman argues that there is no need to use
cloning to create babies, that it is likely to cause harm, and
that it is not unreasonable to seek to ban such uses of cloning.
This article can be found at
— "If Cloning is the Answer, What was the Question?
Decision-Making in the Geneticization of Health," Sarah
Corner House Briefing Number 16, October, 1999. Sexton presents
a detailed analysis of the way scientists attempt to neutralize
public opposition to genetic manipulation technologies. Corner
House, a UK NGO, can be emailed at [email protected].
Their web site is http://www.icaap.org/Cornerhouse.
— "Is Self-Regulation Enough Today? Evaluating the
DNA Controversy," Charles Weiner; forthcoming in Health
Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol 9, No. 2.
Weiner concludes: "Despite the success in improving the
of research, the quasi-self-regulation model developed in the
recombinant DNA controversy is not adequate for expressing and
enforcing societal and moral limits for potential genetic
engineering applications such as human cloning or human germ-line
interventions. These potential applications are not inevitable
and they raise profound issues beyond laboratory and environmental
safety and patients' rights. They occur in a context of increasing
genetic determinism, pervasive commercialization, and aggressive
efforts to sell genetic intervention as a cure-all for medical
even social problems. Separation of the technical issues from
ethical issues, and the narrowing of ethical concerns to clinical
biomedical ethics limits meaningful public involvement, and
the larger picture."