[LMB] We've been discussing gene engineering on people...

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 6 03:51:35 BST 2019

From: Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com>

On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 2:59 PM Eric Oppen <ravenclaweric at gmail.com> wrote:
> Getting rid of heritable bad traits, like Alzheimer's and a tendency to
> cancer, would also be IMO a Good Thing.

That's begging the question.  The entire issue here is trying to justify
our interpretations - personal and societal - as to what 'bad' is.

Gwynne: It's been stated several times that life-limiting conditions would be
candidates for elimination. Would you let your child be born with Cystic Fibrosis?
Genes for breast cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons....? All the heartbreaking
variations of motor neurone diseases? If you've seen children suffering from
terrible chromosomal disorders and genetic problems, it'd be easy to put
them on the elimination list. Brittle bones? Cardiomyopathy? Dangerous
allergies? Asthma? Anything with the potential to kill, or to limit life. Yes,
there'd be some line calls; high-end ASD can be beneficial. Low-end, not
at all. Parents would need to consider how any condition would impact their
child's life, what level of care they'd need, any benefits they'd have from
that condition.

None of this is enhancing, it's just removing problems. The child would still
have whatever abilities and strengths were within them. That'd be a whole
different conversation.

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