Genes and Morality: New Essays

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Veikko Launis, Juhani Pietarinen, Juha Räikkä
Rodopi, 1999 - Literary Collections - 199 pages
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Most public discussion has focused on those effects of genetic research that are considered in some way unwanted or unpleasant. For example, there has been much debate concerning the risks and the ethical appropriateness of genetic screening, gene therapy, and agricultural applications based on genetic techniques. It often claimed that genetic research may cause new problems such as genetic discrimination, stigmatization, environmental risks, or mistreatment of animals. Genes and Morality: New Essays adopts a critical attitude toward genetic research, on both a theoretical and a practical level. It presents some of the most important problems in the ethics of genetic engineering, including the questions of genetic health and disease, genetic testing, responsibility for health, patenting non-human and human life, and problems related to the disclosure of genetic information. The aim of the book is to focus on real ethical and conceptual issues. Consider, for instance, the concept of genetic disease. As one of the contributors, Ingmar Porn, writes, fear of genetic disease, or anxiety, is not itself a disease any more than fear of becoming unemployed is a disease. Alleviating such emotions is not a medical task to be discharged by drug therapy. The book also examines the philosophical foundations of these issues by discussing the most influential bioethical theories of today, including utilitarianism and principlism.
 

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Contents

METHODOLOGICAL AND THEORETICAL ISSUES
4
TWO Does It Matter When We Begin to Exist?
21
A Defense
43
SIX On the Morality of Avoiding Information
63
SEVEN Genome Analysis and Responsibility for Health
79
EIGHT Genetic Information and Care
93
TEN Genetic Health and Genetic Disease
121
ELEVEN Patenting NonHuman and Human Life
145
VI
157
Notes on Contributors
195
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Veikko Launis is Researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Turku, Finland. He is currently working on a Ph.D thesis on the ethical foundation of the new genetics.
Juhani Pietarinen is Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Turku, Finland. He has published books and articles on various problems of inductive logic, social philosophy, ethics, and history of philosophy. He is currently interested in environmental philosophy and the classics of the seventeenth century.
Juha Raikka is Docent in Practical Philosophy at the University of Turku, Finland. His research interests include ethics, bioethics, social philosophy, and political theory.

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