The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Month: December 2013

What are absolute borders made of?

I return to the question in my previous post. I was wondering why biotechnological developments repeatedly invite moral responses in terms of borders that shouldn’t be transgressed by humans. (Think of stem cell research using human embryos.) What is fundamental in these responses? Is it the absolute border? Do people already have stable notions of borders […]

Uniquely controversial: why is new biotechnology often so extraordinarily upsetting?

Artificial insemination, genetically modified organisms, and attempts in synthetic biology to create artificial life have this in common: they tend to provoke moral responses in terms of borders that should not be transgressed. A recent article by Thomas Douglas, Russell Powell, and Julian Savulescu discusses synthetic biology from this point of view: Is the creation […]

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: empowering people to hurt themselves?

There are two tempting pictures of the human. One is that we (ideally) are autonomous individuals who make rational choices on the basis of information. The other picture is that our individuality is coded in our DNA. These pictures work in tandem in the marketing of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. The website of the personal genomics […]

Skip to content