Preprint / Version 1

The new (liberal) eugenics




eugenics, liberal eugenics, DNA, genetics, genetic code


Despite the Nazi horrors, in 1953 the new eugenics was founded, when Watson and Crick postulated the double helix of DNA as the basis of chemical heredity. In 1961, scientists have deciphered the genetic code of DNA, laying the groundwork for code manipulation and the potential building of new life forms. After thirty years from the discovery of the DNA structure, the experimenters began to carry out the first clinical studies of human somatic cell therapy. 
The practice of prenatal genetic tests identifies genes or unwanted genetic markers. Parents can choose to continue pregnancy or give up the fetus. Once the preimplantation genetic diagnosis occurs, potential parents can choose to use in vitro fertilization and then test early embryonic cells to identify embryos with genes they prefer or avoid. Because of concerns about eugenics, genetic counseling is based on a "non-directive" policy to ensure respect for reproductive autonomy. The argument for this counseling service is that we should balance parental autonomy with child's autonomy in the future. Specialists have not yet given a clear answer to the question of whether these practices should be considered eugenic practices, or if they are moral practices.

Author Biography

Nicolae Sfetcu, Romanian Academy

Researcher - Romanian Academy - Romanian Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (CRIFST), History of Science Division (DIS)


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