- Title Pages
- Editors’ Preface
- Notes on Contributors
- Table of Cases
- Table of Statutes, Conventions, ETC
- The NHS in Private Hands? Regulating Private Providers of NHS Services
- Health Care Information Technology and Provider Accountability: A Symbiotic Relationship
- The Manipulation of Medical Practice
- Clinical Guidelines, Negligence and Medical Practice
- Threatening Behaviour? The Challenge Posed by Medical Negligence Claims
- Information, Decisions, and the Limits of Informed Consent
- Patient Autonomy—A Turn in the Tide?
- Legal Limits: When does Autonomy in Health Care Prevail?
- Law, Society, and the New Genetics
- <b>The Ethics of Human Cloning</b>
- Written in Code: Diversity and the New Genetics
- Gene Therapy—Cure or Challenge?
- Protecting the Unborn Child from its Drug or Alcohol Abusing Mother
- Status of the Embryo in the Light of Islamic Jurisprudence
- Can We Leave the Best Interests of Very Sick Children to their Parents?
- The Caesarean Section Cases and the Supremacy of Autonomy
- Policing Pregnancy: Rights and Wrongs
- The Gifts of Life-Donating Gametes and the Consequences
- Consent and Intent: The Legal Differences in Assisted Reproductive Treatments
- Symbolic Harm and Reproductive Practices
- Viagra is Coming! the Rhetoric of Choice and Need
- The Politics of Paternity: Foetal Risks and Reproductive Harm
- Research on Human Subjects, Exploitation, and Global Principles of Ethics
- Government Priorities for Biomedical Research: What Does Justice Require?
- Health Research with Children: the New Zealand Experience
- Medical Data, New Information Technologies, and the Need for Normative Principles Other than Privacy Rules
- Pre-Employment Health Screening
- Human Organ Transplant Ordinance: Facilitating Adult Live Donor Transplants?
- Thrift-Euthanasia, in Theory and in Practice: A Critique of Non-Heart-Beating Organ Harvesting
- The Comatose Pregnant Woman: Abortion and the Substituted-Judgement Approach
- The Mental Health Act: Taking Stock of the Current Position and Thinking about the Future
- Mind and Body: Medicine and Law
Gene Therapy—Cure or Challenge?
Gene Therapy—Cure or Challenge?
- (p.204) (p.205) Gene Therapy—Cure or Challenge?
- Law and Medicine
Sheila A. M. McLean
- Oxford University Press
This chapter addresses concerns regarding gene therapy. It has been suggested that we are bigger than our genetic inheritance — that genes may predict some, but not all, of what we are. Yet contemporary obsession with genes and what they can tell us often leads to what the British Medical Association has called an ‘incorrigibly reductionist’ view of what it is to be human. Concern about gene therapy — the capacity to change the mysterious make-up of individuals — is exacerbated by our growing obsession with ourselves as a conglomerate of genetic markers. Even if somatic therapy is little different from conventional therapy, any interference in genetic inheritance is often greeted with considerable public anxiety. Understanding that the issues are bigger than our own fascination with our genes may presage the development of an informed and sophisticated set of principles with which to address gene therapy. And these we need. Whether it is cloning or genetic enhancement — the drive to improve characteristics rather than seeking to prevent or cure disease — we will be unable rationally to consider the rightness or wrongness of progress without them.
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