- 文教大学国際学部紀要 = Journal of the Faculty of International Studies Bunkyo University (ISSN:09173072)
- vol.12, no.2, pp.69-79, 2002-02-01
On June 26, in 2000 President Clinton announced at a historic White House ceremony that the international Human Genome Project and Cellera Genomics Corporation have both completed an initial sequencing of the human genome - the genetic blueprint for human beings. On the same day, the public and private groups that sequenced the human genome announced jointly that they have completed rough drafts of the human genome. President Clinton hailed the announcement as "the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind." He said, "Today, we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift. With this profound new knowledge, humankind is on the verge of gaining immense, new power to heal. Genome science will have a real impact on all our lives - and even more, on the lives of our children. It will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases." The rough draft of the entire human genome is regarded as a first glimpse of the instruction book previously known only to God, and a powerful new tool to find cures for disease. On the other hand, there are worries over discrimination in education, employment, promotion, insurance contracts, marriage and so on because of gene diagnoses and gene treatments. The General Conference of UNESCO in 1997 adopted "the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights" in order to ban such discrimination. Recently ethical problems concerning genes and the genome have been much discussed. These problems are concerned with eugenics, especially the issue of whether the new eugenics ethically allows gene enhancement. Should society be against this new eugenics or for it? This paper examines the argument about "the theory and ethics of genetic engineering society" by a philosopher of science.