Germ-Line Gene Therapy

Is the Existing UK Norm Ethically Valid?
  • Sheila Dziobon


According to Jürgen Habermas, regulation of a society by “action norms” remains valid for those to whom they are addressed if they are a product of rational discourse within a pre-existing framework of private and public rights granted to an individual as a member of a socially determined association — the society of which the addressee is a member (Habermas, 1996, p. 107). This pre-existing framework places emphasis on rights in a broader sense than either the “liberal” tradition’s concept of human rights as the expression of moral self-determination or the idea of rights as the legal protection of the individual against institutions of the state. The basic requirement is the “right to the greatest possible measure of equal individual liberties” which can be achieved only with the associated rights of “status of member” and the political facility to exercise those rights, including “equal opportunities to participate in processes of opinion-and will-formation in which citizens exercise their political autonomy and through which they generate legitimate law. ” (Habermas, 1996, p. 122–3).


Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Ethical Basis Human Fertilisation Prenatal Genetic Test 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila Dziobon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterExeterUK

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