- Notes on the Contributors
- Methods in Bioethics
- The Way We Reason Now: Reflective Equilibrium in Bioethics
- Mental Disorder, Moral Agency, and the Self
- ‘Reinventing’ the Rule of Double Effect
- Policy‐Making in Pluralistic Societies
- Tiers Without Tears: the Ethics of a Two‐Tier Health Care System
- Justice and the Elderly
- Organ Transplantation
- For Dignity or Money: Feminists on the Commodification of Women's Reproductive Labour
- The Definition of Death
- The Aging Society and the Expansion of Senility: Biotechnological and Treatment Goals
- Death is a Punch in the Jaw: Life‐Extension and its Discontents
- Precedent Autonomy, Advance Directives, and End‐of‐Life Care
- Physician‐Assisted Death: the State of the Debate
- Abortion Revisited
- Moral Status, Moral Value, and Human Embryos: Implications for Stem Cell Research
- Therapeutic Cloning: Politics and Policy
- Population Genetic Research and Screening: Conceptual and Ethical Issues
- Genetic Interventions and The Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings
- Pharmacogenomics: Ethical and Regulatory Issues
- Clinical Equipoise: Foundational Requirement or Fundamental Error?
- Research on Cognitively Impaired Adults
- Research in Developing Countries
- Animal Experimentation
- The Implications of Public Health for Bioethics
- Global Health
- Bioethics and Bioterrorism
Abstract and Keywords
There has been considerable recent debate on the ethics of human enhancement. A number of prominent authors have been concerned about or critical of the use of technology to alter or enhance human beings, citing threats to human nature and dignity as one basis for these concerns. Frances Kamm has given a detailed rebuttal of Sandel's arguments, arguing that human enhancement is permissible. Nicholas Agar, in his book Liberal Eugenics, argues that enhancement should be permissible but not obligatory. He argues that what distinguishes liberal eugenics from the objectionable eugenic practices of the Nazis is that it is not based on a single conception of a desirable genome and that it is voluntary and not obligatory. This article takes a more provocative position. It aims to argue that, far from its being merely permissible, we have a moral obligation or moral reason to enhance ourselves and our children. Indeed, we have the same kind of obligation as we have to treat and prevent disease. It begins by considering the current interests in and possibilities of enhancement. It then offers three arguments that we have very strong reasons to seek to enhance.
Julian Savulescu is the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics and Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at Oxford University. Previously, he was Director of the Ethics of Genetics Unit at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Julian Savulescu is qualified in medicine, bioethics, and analytic philosophy. He has published many articles in journals such as the British Medical Journal, Lancet, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Bioethics, the Journal of Medical Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, Medical Journal of Australia and Philosophy, and Psychiatry and Psychology. Address is Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Littlegate House, St Ebbes, Oxford, OX1 1PT, UK. Email: email@example.com
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