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The Ethics of the New Eugenics

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The Ethics of the New Eugenics

Edited by Calum MacKellar and Christopher Bechtel

242 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-120-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-202-9 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78238-121-1 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“More than an ethical analysis of the technologies, this book should be seen, and used, more as an accurate glossary of terms, accompanied by a fairly rigorous overview of different technologies, with a sound scientific basis. Particularly valuable was the accompanying comparative overview of international regulations.” · Bioethical Inquiry

“Clearly written and highly informative about international and nations laws, as well as about past, current, and possible future eugenic practices and arguments for and against the same, this volume makes for valuable reading not only for students of medical ethics but can be recommended to anyone wanting to learn more about arguments for and against current and possible future reproductive selection procedures.” · Ethics & Medicine

“The book is clearly written, easy to follow, well-structured, and well-researched. A lay audience will easily access and understand the debate and realize what is at stake with the new eugenics. Medical procedures and technical concepts are well explained… [Its] importance and relevance cannot be overstated...a must-read in our day and age, especially when biotechnology and the new eugenics can be a threat to all of humanity.” · Johann A. R. Roduit, Institute of Biomedical Ethics, University of Zurich


Strategies or decisions aimed at affecting, in a manner considered to be positive, the genetic heritage of a child in the context of human reproduction are increasingly being accepted in contemporary society. As a result, unnerving similarities between earlier selection ideology so central to the discredited eugenic regimes of the 20th century and those now on offer suggest that a new era of eugenics has dawned. The time is ripe, therefore, for considering and evaluating from an ethical perspective both current and future selection practices. This inter-disciplinary volume blends research from embryology, genetics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and history. In so doing, it constructs a thorough picture of the procedures emerging from today’s reproductive developments, including a rigorous ethical argumentation concerning the possible advantages and risks related to the new eugenics.

Calum MacKellar is Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, Edinburgh, and Visiting Professor of Bioethics at St Mary’s University College, London, UK.

Christopher Bechtel holds a degree in philosophy and is a Research Fellow with the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, Edinburgh, UK.

Subject: Medical Anthropology Sociology


A Note on the Text
Abbreviations and Acronyms


Chapter 1. The History of Eugenics
Chapter 2. General Introduction to Eugenic Procedures
Chapter 3. General Ethical Discussion
Chapter 4. Arguments Supporting the New Eugenics
Chapter 5. Arguments Opposing the New Eugenics


Appendix I: Past and Present Personalities Supporting Eugenic Policies
Appendix II: Scottish Council on Human Bioethics Recommendations on Eugenics

Glossary of Terms

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