Saturday, May 06, 2006

An Ominous New Era in Genetic Manipulation

Dr. C. Ben Mitchell is a consultant on biomedical and life issues for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and is associate professor of bioethics & contemporary culture at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In a recent column written for Baptist Press, Dr. Mitchell describes the fallout we can expect after the decision by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) to give nearly $800,000 to Case Law School (Cleveland, Ohio) to “develop guidelines for the use of human subjects in what could be the next frontier in medical technology -- genetic enhancement." As Dr. Mitchell points out, this marks the beginning of a new era of tax-funded eugenics in America. It is a very sad and ominous development and this article explores its ramifications well.

...Make no mistake about it; so-called enhancement is merely a desire to re-engineer the human person either for the sake of competitiveness or out of a vile self-loathing of one’s finitude and limitations.

In the United States at the turn of the 20th century, eugenics took the form of state-mandated sterilization for people with mental retardation. Awards were also granted to families with desirable genetic traits, rewarding them with medallions marking them as a “Fitter Family.” In Nazi Germany, of course, eugenics took the form of the Holocaust. When men play God, they play God badly....