The Ethical Gene
by Reuven Brandt in Bioethics
Abstract: In this paper I argue that current law and policy governing germline genetic modification are overly broad and in fact prohibit medical interventions normally considered unobjectionable. The root of the problem lies in the fact law and policy tend to espouse a near categorical ban on medical interventions that alter germline DNA.

However, if we pay close attention to the biological mechanisms at play we see that many standard medical interventions result in alterations to DNA that can be transmitted to future generations. The correct focus of policy and regulation thus ought to be determining which kinds of transmissible genetic modifications ought to be permitted, and not whether they should be permitted at all.

Given that the scientific classification of biological structures involved in the inheritance of traits is unlikely to be in itself ethically significant, ethicists ought to develop a definition of 'gene' fit for ethical purposes.
Recently published, this report highlights the research, fellowships, publications and program development of the Institute for Practical Ethics.
Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team reaches national quarter final
“[This team] manifested the virtues of open-mindedness, generosity, respect and consummate poise, all in the service of the truth,” coach Samuel Rickless said.
David Danks appointed to national AI Advisory Committee
Practical Ethics advisory board member David Danks has been invited to serve as an inaugural appointee, providing guidance to the United States National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office.
Alec J. Calac, a 2021-2022 Institute for Practical Ethics Ph.D. Fellow, will participate in the Biden Administration’s Health Equity Leaders Roundtable Series. His research interests are in tribal public health and social media communications on or around American Indian reservations in the United States.
Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Institute for Practical Ethics John H. Evans discusses the work of Kyoto Prize laureate Bruno Latour with UC San Diego Professor Emerita of Communication and Science Studies Chandra Mukerji (pictured). The discussion follows Latour's Kyoto Symposium presentation.