MIT 24 06J - Third Paper Topic Assignment (3 pages)

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Third Paper Topic Assignment



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Third Paper Topic Assignment

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Pages:
3
School:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Course:
24 06j - Bioethics

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MIT OpenCourseWare http ocw mit edu 24 06J STS 006J Bioethics Spring 2009 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use visit http ocw mit edu terms 24 06 STS 006 Third Paper Topic Choose one of the following questions to answer Type out the question you are answering at the top of your paper Your paper is due in class in SES 19 1 Consider two claims that a moderate advocate of eugenics might make A We should discourage people with certain genetic disabilities from reproducing B We should encourage parents to terminate fetuses that have genetic diseases such as thalassemia assume for the sake of this exercise that abortion is not controversial Pick one of these claims and construct the best slippery slope argument that you can against it Every slippery slope argument describes a series of claims or policies the last of which we clearly should not accept or follow Be sure to describe your series in detail In light of the history of the eugenics movement in America claim A or the thalassemia prevention program in Cyprus claim B how plausible or implausible is your argument Did slippery slope fears come true Is society today more or less vulnerable to slippery slopes than in the past 2 With advances in medical knowledge and technology prospective parents have come to worry about subtler and subtler risks during pregnancy At the same time they are offered an expanding set of recommendations on how they might optimize their offspring What historical changes have contributed to these changing perceptions At present most people consider it ethical to intervene during a pregnancy to reduce harm to a fetus but there is less consensus about whether it is ethical to intervene to enhance the capabilities of a fetus What motivates this distinction As perceptions of risk and technological capabilities continue to improve is it likely that enhancement will become more acceptable the kind of future that Rifkin describes 3 Suppose I deliberately bring an unhealthy



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