Christianity and the New Eugenics: Should We Choose to Have Only Healthy Or Enhanced Children?
As the science of selection develops in the context of human reproduction, features such as the genetic improvement of health, athletic prowess or intelligence may become accepted grounds for choosing future children. Thus, the biological enhancement of the human race,...
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As the science of selection develops in the context of human reproduction, features such as the genetic improvement of health, athletic prowess or intelligence may become accepted grounds for choosing future children. Thus, the biological enhancement of the human race, so central to the discredited eugenic regimes of the twentieth century, may now be resurfacing under a new guise. Unnerving similarities between earlier eugenic selection programmes and those now being proposed in the context of twenty-first century human reproduction, with the development of procedures such as gene editing, suggest that a more 'sanitised' era of a new eugenics has dawned. There is, therefore, an urgent need to consider and evaluate both current and future selection practices from a Christian perspective based on Scripture. Calum MacKellar offers an accessible, inter-disciplinary analysis, blending science, history and Christian theology, enabling readers to develop an informed opinion about the topics encountered. To some degree, all members of society are affected by these new scientific developments in human reproduction, regardless of background, and will thus benefit from such a survey.
Director of Research of a medical charity in Scotland and a Visiting Lecturer in Bioethics at St Mary's University in London, England. He is also a Fellow with the Centre for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University, Chicago, USA. In 1998, he was ordained an elder of the Church of Scotland (the Reformed and Presbyterian national church in Scotland since 1560) and was a member of its Church and Society Council from 2005 to 2013. Previously, he had been a senior civil servant with the Bioethics Division of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.