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Playing God! : Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate 1959-1995 - John H. Evans

Playing God!

Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate 1959-1995

Paperback Published: 1st January 2001
ISBN: 9780226222622
Number Of Pages: 320

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Technology evolves at a dazzling speed, and nowhere more so than in the field of genetic engineering, where the possibility of directly changing the genes of one's children is quickly becoming a reality. The public is rightly concerned, but interestingly, they have not had much to say about the implications of recent advancements in human genetics.
"Playing God?" asks why and explores the social forces that have led to the thinning out of public debate over human genetic engineering. John H. Evans contends that the problem lies in the structure of the debate itself. Disputes over human genetic engineering concern the means for achieving assumed ends, rather than being a healthy discussion about the ends themselves. According to Evans, this change in focus occurred as the jurisdiction over the debate shifted from scientists to bioethicists, a change which itself was caused by the rise of the bureaucratic state as the authority in such matters. The implications of this timely study are twofold. Evans not only explores how decisions about the ethics of human genetic engineering are made, but also shows how the structure of the debate has led to the technological choices we now face.

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Framework for Understanding the Thinning of a Public Debatep. 11
Setting the Stage: The Eugenicists and the Challenge from the Theologiansp. 45
Gene Therapy, Advisory Commissions, and the Birth of the Bioethics Professionp. 72
The President's Commission: The "Neutral" Triumph of Formal Rationalityp. 99
Regaining Lost Jurisdictional Ground and the Triumph of the Bioethics Professionp. 135
"Reproduction" as the New Jurisdictional Metaphor: Autonomy and the Internal Threat to the Bioethics/Science Jurisdictionp. 152
Conclusion: The Future of Public Bioethics and the HGE Debatep. 174
Methods and Tablesp. 205
Notesp. 227
Works Citedp. 283
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226222622
ISBN-10: 0226222624
Series: Morality and Society (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st January 2001
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.0  x 1.78
Weight (kg): 0.42
Edition Number: 2