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The New Eugenics and Medicalized Reproduction

  • Jacques Testart (a1)

We know today that classical eugenics, of an essentially negative nature, was not only an aggressive and brutal practice but, like its positive counterpart, inefficient as well. In fact, numerous biological, sociological, and psychological events beyond our control arise to prevent the realisation of any eugenic plan. Thus, like all human beings, individuals whose procreation is encouraged by positive eugenics suffer unexpected mutations that are transmitted to their offspring by their gametes. Gene distribution among the gametes at meiosis is the result of an uncontrollable, natural lottery. As an effect of this lottery, positive eugenics could allow the birth of defective babies whereas negative eugenics precludes the birth of normal babies.

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R Strohman . Epigenesis: the missing beat in biotechnology? Bio/Technology 1994;12:156–64.

Liu Fertility and Sterility 1993;59:815.

S Munné , Fertility and Sterility 1994;61:111.

Y Menezo , Improvement of human early embryo development in vitro by coculture on monolayers of vero cells. Biology of Reproduction 1990;42:301–6.

J Modlinsky Z Smorag . Preimplantation development of rabbit embryos after transfer of embryonic nuclei into different cytoplasmic environment. Molecular Reproduction and Development 28:361–72.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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