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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Print: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2016016594
pages 285-297

Children of Capital: Eugenics in the World of Private Biotechnology

Nicholas G. Evans
Department of Medical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Department of Medical Ethics, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Jonathan D. Moreno
Department of Medical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Department of Medical Ethics, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

ABSTRACT

The prospect of human germline intervention−in this case, the application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to human embryos−raises, again, the specter of eugenics, a practice that aims to improve the human germline by employing an understanding of heredity in the exertion of control over who gets born or who reproduces. Although eugenics is popularly identified as government control over reproduction, market forces and cultural mores have led individuals to embrace eugenics absent government mandate. In a world in which biomedicine and biotechnology are funded by large, private interests, concern about if eugenics will occur have elided what form eugenics might take.