Eugenics

Better Essays
Sarah Mercer
Mr. Ervin
AP Language and Composition
10 December 2012
Eugenics
Today’s society is filled with contrasting ideologies and mindsets, some more controversial than others. The field of medical ethics consists of many debatable issues that remain irresolute and continue to provoke opposing deliberation. Among these subjects is the practice of eugenics. Eugenics is essentially a science with the stated aim of “improving the genetic constitution of the human species through selective breeding.” (Kevles 253) Although its methods propose ways to target and eliminate specific undesired or burdening traits from the human gene pool, eugenics should be discouraged because it defies society’s established moral standards, arouses social issues, and challenges genetic diversity. The moral values that societies set in place in order to maintain the most efficient means of interaction among its people are essential in the prosperity and manageability of the population. Ideas that challenge or denounce these values put the well-being of society at risk. The theological aspects of eugenics contradict the basis of ethical standards in the United States. Due to its concern with competitive fertility, this method of genetic engineering can be argued as the antithesis of reproductive freedom. Competitive fertility introduces the method of sterilization, which is the act of making an individual infertile. Although it is unfavorable by over half of the geneticists in the United States, countries such as China and India have come close to requiring mandatory sterilization by law. (Wertz 503) The fact that this concept has the ability to inspire such favorability of an act that revokes the reproductive rights of those deemed “unfit” to reproduce is baffling. How can a human being feel content in supporting a cause that holds such immoral notions? Granting scientific judgment the power to label individuals genetically fit or unfit is allowing them to cross the



Bibliography: Caplan, Arthur L., Glen McGee and David Magnus. "What is Immoral About Eugenics?" British Medical Journal (1999): 1-2. Kevles, Daniel. In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985. Wertz, Dorothy C. "Eugenics is Alive and Well: A Survey of Genetic Proffesionals Around the World." Science in Context (1998): 493-510. Wolfe, Christian. The Institute for Applied & Professional Ethics. 27 July 2009. 8 December 2012 <http://www.ohio.edu/ethics/2003-conferences/human-genetic-diversity-and-the-threat-to-the-survivability-of-human-populations/index.html>.

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