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Reprogenetics

Law, Policy, and Ethical Issues

edited by Lori P. Knowles and Gregory E. Kaebnick

Publication Year: 2007

From the cloning of Dolly the sheep a decade ago to more recent advances in embryonic stem cell research, new genetic technologies have often spurred polemical, ill-informed debates. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the field of reproductive genetics, where difficult bioethical issues are distilled into sound bites and far-fetched claims for easy public consumption. The underlying complexities of reprogenetic research and practice are often drowned out by the noise. In this thoughtful and informed collection, Lori P. Knowles and Gregory E. Kaebnick bring together bioethicists from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to examine the ethical and policy quandaries created by new genetic technologies. Featuring an overview of the field’s history (including lessons to be learned from eugenics), comparisons of international and domestic governmental regulations, and discussions of how the market and public opinion affect research, this book considers both the risks and the benefits of combining genetic and reproductive technologies. Concluding with a cautionary call for increased regulation, Reprogenetics introduces fact, history, and reason into a public discussion of complex and vexing issues.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Contributors

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pp. vii-xiii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiii

From the cloning of Dolly to the mapping of the human genome and the isolation of human embryonic stem cells, nations around the world continue to grapple with the possibilities posed by new genetic technologies, and especially with the question of how to harness and direct those possibilities for the benefit of humankind. ...

PART I: THE HISTORICAL AND REGULATORY LANDSCAPE

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1 On Drawing Lessons from the History of Eugenics

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pp. 3-19

Almost every discussion of social issues in reprogenetics identifies eugenics as a central concern. Of course, there are other sources of unease at the prospect of modifying the genome either to treat disease or to enhance physical, mental, or behavioral characteristics. ...

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2 Governmental Regulation of Genetic Technology, and the Lessons Learned

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pp. 20-63

For thousands of years, human beings have both deliberately and unintentionally changed the genetic composition of their world. By selectively breeding plants and animals to enhance desired characteristics, by extinguishing species, and even by simply choosing mates, humans have been “tampering” with the “genetic landscape” ...

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3 Oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: The Last Twenty Years

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pp. 64-86

Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) refer to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and its variations, such as embryo freezing, gamete and embryo donation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Oversight falls into two general and sometimes overlapping categories. ...

PART II: ETHICAL ISSUES IN REPROGENETICS

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4 Market Transactions in Reprogenetics: A Case for Regulation

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pp. 89-104

In a nation as pluralistic as the United States, establishing a case for the regulation of reprogenetic technologies is no easy task. Nonetheless, I argue here (as I have elsewhere; see Holland 2001a, 2001b) not for outlawing market transactions in reprogenetics but for regulating them in accordance with what I believe are shared, ...

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5 Stem Cells, Clones, Consensus, and the Law

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pp. 105-124

The introduction of new technologies often forces us to reevaluate our moral convictions and ethical norms, but rarely do they invoke a completely uniform social response. The area of reproductive genetics stands as an example of the challenges associated with regulating an area where there is little or no social consensus about benefits and risks. ...

PART III: INTERNATIONAL REGULATION OF REPROGENETICS

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6 The Governance of Reprogenetic Technology: International Models

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pp. 127-143

Recently, American bioethics committees have begun to examine foreign models of biotechnology governance in order to develop their own domestic policy advice. President Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Committee (NBAC, 1999) and President Bush’s Council on Bioethics (2002, 2004) invited presentations from experts ...

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7 Regulating Reprogenetics in the United Kingdom

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pp. 144-177

In 1978 the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in the United Kingdom. At that time there was no regulation or control of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) or embryo research in the United Kingdom. The technology was in its infancy, but it was clear that in vitro fertilization (IVF) and future developments in the technology ...

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8 The Evolution of Public Policy on Reprogenetics in Canada

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pp. 178-194

The cultural attitudes and values broadly espoused by a society influence how a country’s public policy evolves to deal with the choices posed by new technologies. It is useful to remember that, despite sharing a language and a 3,000-mile-long border, Canada and the United States have quite different histories. ...

PART IV: REGULATING REPROGENETICS IN THE UNITED STATES

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9 A Brief History of Public Debate about Reproductive Technologies: Politics and Commissions

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pp. 197-225

Over the past thirty years, society has faced a steady progression of advances in medically assisted reproduction and genetics that have been simultaneously considered everything from miraculous to immoral, depending on one’s point of view. In vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies, ...

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10 Possible Policy Strategies for the United States: Comparative Lessons

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pp. 226-239

My “marching orders” for this chapter came in the form of a number of questions: Why is there such a lack of regulation in the area of reprogenetics in the United States? What sorts of strategies might be employed to replace the numerous and frequently overlapping advisory bodies with more effective and broader regulation? ...

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11 The Development of Reprogenetic Policy and Practice in the United States: Looking to the United Kingdom

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pp. 240-252

The development of reprogenetics policy in the United States is in a state of flux. The most recent and perhaps most influential development in this area comes in the form of the 2004 report of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies. ...

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12 Reprogenetics and Public Policy: Reflections and Recommendations

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pp. 253-294

At the first of the discussions that led eventually to the writing of this chapter, a respected clinician-researcher in the world of reprogenetic medicine referred to his field as “one big embryo experiment.” The phrase nicely captures what this chapter is about. It is about the ethical issues and policy challenges that arise ...

Index

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pp. 295-302


E-ISBN-13: 9780801896859
E-ISBN-10: 0801896851
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801885242
Print-ISBN-10: 0801885248

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Genetic engineering -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Genetic engineering -- Social aspects.
  • Reproduction -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Reproduction -- Social aspects.
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