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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS OPPOSING TECHNO-EUGENICS

Genetic Crossroads
October 4th, 1999

— Two major San Francisco Bay Area newspapers have recently


published op-ed pieces arguing against germline enhancement
and

human cloning.


"Smarter Mice—And Men? Enhancing Desired Traits Undermines
Who

We Are," Zach Hall, Vice-Chancellor of Research, UC San
Francisco

(San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29/99). Hall argues that attempts


to genetically engineer human "enhancements" are likely
to have

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
Case,"

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

http://www.sacbee.com/voices/news/old/voices07_19990919.html.


— "If Cloning is the Answer, What was the Question?
Power and

Decision-Making in the Geneticization of Health," Sarah
Sexton,

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
Recombinant

DNA Controversy," Charles Weiner; forthcoming in Health
Matrix:

Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol 9, No. 2.


Weiner concludes: "Despite the success in improving the
safety

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
and

even social problems. Separation of the technical issues from
the

ethical issues, and the narrowing of ethical concerns to clinical


biomedical ethics limits meaningful public involvement, and
obscures

the larger picture."



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