Confrontations in ‘genethics’: rationalities, challenges, and methodological responses

Coggon, John (2011) Confrontations in ‘genethics’: rationalities, challenges, and methodological responses. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 20, (1), 46-55. (doi:10.1017/S0963180110000617). (PMID:21223609).


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It was only a matter of time before the portmanteau term “genethics” would be coined and a whole field within bioethics delineated. The term can be dated back at least to 1984 and the work of James Nagle, who claims credit for inventing the word, which he takes “to incorporate the various ethical implications and dilemmas generated by genetic engineering with the technologies and applications that directly or indirectly affect the human species.” In Nagle’s phrase, “Genethic issues are instances where medical genetics and biotechnology generate ethical problems that warrant societal deliberation.” The great promises and terrific threats of developments in scientific understanding of genetics, and the power to enhance, modify, or profit from the knowledge science breeds, naturally offer a huge range of issues to vex moral philosophers and social theorists. Issues as diverse as embryo selection and the quest for immortality continue to tax analysts, who offer reasons as varied as the matters that might be dubbed “genethical” for or against the morality of things that are actually possible, logically possible, and even just tenuously probable science fiction

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1017/S0963180110000617
ISSNs: 0963-1801 (print)
1469-2147 (electronic)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Business and Law > Southampton Law School
ePrint ID: 342967
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
January 2011Published
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2012 11:26
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:34

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