Eugenics Ethical Dilemmas

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The world has tried to continually, and in some instances, successfully fight injustice, inequality and discrimination brought about by slavery, colonization, and racism. The human race seems to still labor from yet another form of injustice and discrimination being championed by eugenics. Eugenics is defined by many scholars in similarly many ways, but for purposes of this paper, one definition shall suffice. Eugenics is “the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population” (Burke & Castaneda, 2007). This paper looks at the practice of eugenics in North Carolina and will present the legal and ethical argument against eugenics both historically and in the present debate. The science…show more content…
These arguments are based on both legal and ethical reasons. On one hand, those opposed to eugenics dismiss it as a perpetuation of discrimination in that it does not seek justice and widens the inequality gap. Since we live in a society of unequal chances where on one hand we have the rich who can afford all they want while on the other we have the poor who barely afford what they need. The practice of eugenics has a danger of dividing the society into two groups namely; the genetic overclass and underclass. The replacement of the natural law of selection (genetic lottery according to Rawls) becomes replaced by the choice of the science, the inequalities in society become programmed hence not only passing social disadvantages into future generations but also genetically embedding…show more content…
However, with the advent of technology, eugenics has been advanced to even encourage parents to carry out a selection of the kind of babies they want to give birth to resulting in the term “designer babies” through prenatal testing (Asch, 1999). If parents notice that their expected baby might suffer some form of disability they usually resort to eugenics whereby they can choose to terminate the pregnancy. Disability rights advocates oppose prenatal testing that results in genetic enhancement because they view it as discriminatory against the disabled. This holds true because genetic enhancement and improvement of fetuses that would have been otherwise born with some impairment discriminate against existing people with disabilities as it sends a clear message to those living with disabilities that they should never have been born. Prenatal testing and genetic enhancing as a means of eugenics mostly result in selective abortion of disabled fetuses thus sending a very loud discriminatory message to those that are already living with disabilities. This kind of discrimination is very unethical as it undermines the efforts to create an equal world where every human being is viewed as a creation of God and should be respected as such in the eyes of the world (Asch,
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