Discussions of genetic enhancements often imply deep suspicions about human desires to manipulate or enhance the course of our future. These unspoken assumptions about the arrogance of the quest for perfection are at odds with the normally hopeful resonancy we find in contemporary theology. The author argues that these fears, suspicions and accusations are misplaced. The problem lies not with the question of whether we should pursue perfection, but rather what perfection we are pursuing.
For now, the best way to select a child's genes is to select a potential child who has those genes, using genetic testing and either selective abortion, sperm and egg donors, or selecting embryos for implantation. Some people even wish to select against genes that are only mildly undesirable, or to select for superior genes. I call this selection drift--the standard for acceptable children is creeping upwards.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
This case study of mental retardation in Connecticut during 1818-1917 questions the existing model of interpretation. The discovery of mental retardation in Connecticut did not emanate from social fear over those who were different, difficult, or dangerous. Nor did state government initiate the institutionalization of the feeble-minded. Instead, Dr. Henry M. Knight, who founded the private Connecticut School for Imbeciles in 1858, was motivated by antebellum religious benevolence.
The push of biomedical profits and pull of consumer desire for greater happiness and superior performance heralds a robust market in offspring enhancement. There are two reasons we might worry about the reach of commerce into the realm of selective reproduction. The first concern is that for-profit genetic enhancement, under conditions of economic necessity, would exploit the poor, by coercing them, in effect, to part with reproductive material they would prefer not to sell for money, if not for their desperate situation.
Existing debate on procreative selection focuses on the well-being of the future child. However, selection decisions can also have significant effects on the well-being of others. Moreover, these effects may run in opposing directions; some traits conducive to the well-being of the selected child may be harmful to others, whereas other traits that limit the child's well-being may preserve or increase that of others.
The article deals with the question of medicine in the time of the Nazi regime in Germany. It focuses on the question how the media in the "Third Reich" took up the subject "medicine" in general and which aspects were notably mentioned. The footing of this research is the "Westdeutscher Beobachter" and its local edition for the region and the city of Aachen. It was a newspaper published by the regional division of the NSDAP, hence a direct repetition of the Nazi ideology can be expected.