Genetic Selection for Enhanced Health Characteristics (2007)


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Miah, A. (2007) Genetic Selection for Enhanced Health Characteristics,Journal of International Biotechnology Law, 4(6), 239-264.

"McLean notes that ‘legal issues are frequently more difficult to distinguish from ethical ones’ (p.123) and the subject matter of genetics makes this all the more apparent. I have concluded that the use of genetic tests for general purpose enhanced health selection is permissible, but only within certain conditions. Specifically, I have argued against the institutionalisation of such tests for selective or discriminatory purposes, but in favour of individual choices to utilise such tests.  In the context of sport, this would mean that Johnny can take a genetic test once he achieves something like Gillick  competence, but that his coach can’t administer one to him or request the results as part of a selection practice. Moreover, specific codes of practice should be delivered to ensure such activities do not take place. One might argue that even the best attempts to persuade people that genes are only one component of performance achievements will be inadequate to curtail determinism. As such, any policy decision must take into account the probability that people will make assumptions about individual capacities based merely on the results of genetic tests. However, this point only reminds us that the advances within the public understanding of science are still reasonably new"