Ethics, Genetics, and Human Gene Therapy

  • Diego Gracia
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 8)


Life is a miracle between two mysteries, the mystery of its beginning and the mystery of its end. The Greek word for beginning is génesis. This genesis has always been, and still is nowadays to some extent ‘mysterious’. Mystérion is another Greek word; it means mysterious, but at the same time sacred. The beginning of life has something of the mysterious, and also of the sacred. This permits understanding why it has a religious dimension, which in our Western culture is paradigmatically represented by the traditions about the origins stated in the biblical book of Genesis. Every religion has said something about the origins in general, and the origin of life, in particular. But genesis has other dimensions, different from the religious one. For instance, there is a philosophical or metaphysical dimension, present in the history of philosophy since the first Presocratic thinkers up to now. And there is also another dimension, the moral one. The ethical question is always the same one: what should we do, and what ought not to be done? Is the manipulation of the beginning of human life compatible with its sacredness? And if the answer is positive: to what extent?


Gene Therapy Genetic Engineering Ethical Problem Ethical Theory Moral Duty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

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  • Diego Gracia

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