Human Genetic and Reproductive Technologies: A Muslim’s Understanding of the Secular Perspective

  • Shahid Athar
Keywords: Human genetics, assisted reproductive technologies, cloning, ethics

Abstract

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5915/39-4-6321

Physically and intellectually, man is not the same as he was a million years ago. These "improvements" in humans have come from within over a period of time by the process of adaptation, new learning, and out of a need. So, what is the need now for biotechnical intervention? The fine line between what can be done technically and what should be done morally is the reason for the role of biomedical ethics in the area of human genetic technologies. What is the relationship between the individual and society? Whose interests and needs are we, the scientists and physicians, to serve? Where does the government fit in between the needs of the individual patient and duties of his or her physician? Are social justice, human dignity, and human rights to be considered in genetic modification? While it may be appropriate and desirable to seek treatment for a disease such as infertility, we have moved beyond treating infertility to the quest of making a super healthy super human. As a result, are we embarking on a path of ethnic cleansing of humans of lesser abilities? In this paper, such concerns and questions are discussed from a secular perspective.

Published
2007-11-02
Section
Original Articles