EDUARDO ANTÓNIO DA SILVA FIGUEIREDO
90 Rev Der Gen H 50/2019
éticos y jurídicos planteados por esta práctica tan polémica. ¿Qué es me-
jorar? ¿Existe, actualmente, un fundamento ético y jurídico aceptable para
el mejoramiento genético humano? Y, de ser así, ¿es correcto, sin más,
llevar a cabo este tipo de intervenciones genéticas? Estas son algunas de
las preguntas que trataremos de contestar a continuación.
In this article, I analyse the emerging phenomenon of human genetic en-
hancement, as an attempt to surpass the intrinsic vulnerability of human
beings. With this purpose, I begin by scrutinizing the main international,
supranational and national (Portuguese) norms which aim to protect the
human genome. Afterward, I briefly reflect on the main ethical and juridical
challenges posed by this polemic practice. What is to enhance? Is there,
in the present days, an acceptable ethical and juridical basis for human
genetic enhancement? And, if so, is it correct, with no need for further
considerations, to carry out this kind of genetic interventions? These are
some of the questions which we will try to answer subsequently.
Palabras clave / Keywords:
Mejoramiento Humano / Vulnerabilidad / CRISPR/Cas9 / Edición del Ge-
noma / Transhumanismo.
Human Enhancement / Vulnerability / CRISPR/Cas9 / Gene Editing /
The dawn of the new millennium is clearly defined by an incessant search
for new means to overcome the intrinsic vulnerability of human beings, some
of which aim to control and alter the most personal and fascinating element
of our body: the human genome. In fact, it may be said that this was (and still
is) one of the greatest enigmas that human beings have wished to solve. The
mapping and sequencing of the genome, the main goal of the “Human Ge-
nome Project” (which came to an end in 2003), enabled us to “understand,
foresee and change”1 our genes, inter alia, by using certain genetic engi-
neering techniques which promise to revolutionize fields such as medicine
and human reproduction.
At the beginning of this year, Allan BRADLEY stated that “it is undeniable that
we started one of the most exciting chapters in the Book of Life”2 –which some
authors, such as Michiu KAKU and Klaus SCHWAB, have already termed the
1 LOUREIRO, João, “O direito à identidade genética do ser humano”, Studia Jurídica
– Boletim da Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra , Coimbra Editora,
Coimbra, Portugal, 1999, p. 291.
2 See the 1st episode (“Mutações”) of the Documentary “2077: 10 segundos para
o futuro”, RTP1, January 2 2018, available on: https://www.rtp.pt/play/p4286/e323723/