Can Attitudes Toward Genome Editing Better Inform Cognitive Enhancement Policy?

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (1):59-61 (2019)
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Abstract

The article by Conrad et al. (AJOB Neuroscience, 2019, 10:1) does not take into account another, still hypothetical, procedure for cognitive enhancement (CE) which would be appropriate to consider in the surveys, i.e. the possibility to genetically enhance the cognitive abilities of a future individual using genome editing techniques. In this case, the conclusions of the article in the context of the “self-others difference” and “safety/naturalness” would be questioned. In fact, the results of the hypothetical surveys with the variant “genome editing” could be significantly different from those obtained in the survey proposed by the authors: an individual would decide not for himself, but for the CE in a future child. In light of these considerations, we hold that the article highlights just the attitudes toward the principle of autonomy and redistributive justice; however, by introducing the new hypothetical scenario of CE with genome editing the attitudes toward the principles of beneficence and non-instrumentalisation could also be appreciated. Special attention to future generations is necessary to inform potential CE public policy, though using genome editing to enhance cognition abilities is just a future hypothetical perspective.

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Citations of this work

Genome editing: slipping down toward Eugenics?Davide Battisti - 2019 - Medicina Historica 3 (3):206-218.

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References found in this work

The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.
The Future of Human Nature.Jurgen Habermas - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (309):483-486.

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