Animal genetic manipulation -- a utilitarian response
Smith, Kevin R.
Bioethics 2002 February; 16(1): 55-71
I examine the process and outcomes of animal genetic manipulation ('transgenesis') with reference to its morally salient features. I consider several objections to transgenesis. I examine and reject the alleged intrinsic wrongness of 'deliberate genetic sequence alteration,' as I do the notion that transgenesis may lead to human genetic manipulation. I examine the alleged wrongness of killing inherent in transgenesis, and suggest that the concept of 'replaceability' successfully justifies such killing, although not for entities deemed to possess 'personhood.' I examine 'significant suffering' associated with transgenesis and propose the radical conclusion that, although it would be wrong to prohibit animal genetic manipulation per se, utilitarians ought to support a 'default prohibition' on transgenic experiments that entail significant suffering.
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