Some Jewish thoughts on genetic enhancement

Shimon M. Glick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The issues of the ethics of germ line modification in general and of enhancement by germ line modification in particular have been the subject of hundreds of articles in the bioethical literature. Both because the techniques are far from perfected and because the potential long term side effects are unkown, there is a widespread consensus that germ line modification for enhancement is absolutely unethical and beyond the pale at the present time. The author considers a thought expperiment projecting into the future in which perhaps the safety and reversibility of germ line modification have been clearly demonstrated. Under such circumstances it is contended that the dividing line between treatment and enhancement is difficult and indeed perhaps impossible to maintain. The Jewish tradition is examined and from the various sources cited it would seem that the benefits of certain kinds of genetic enhancements might well outweigh the objections to such manipulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-419
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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