Super-Man Syndrome: Vulnerability(ies) and Enhancement(s). Legal and Ethical Implications of Human Genetic Enhancement

Autor:Eduardo António Da Silva Figueiredo
Cargo:Researcher at the Centre for Biomedical Law, Faculty of Law, University of Coimbra
Páginas:89-115
RESUMEN

En este artículo, analizaremos el fenómeno emergente del mejoramiento genético humano, como posible medio de superar la vulnerabilidad intrínseca de los seres humanos. Con este propósito, comenzamos por examinar las principales normas internacionales, supranacionales y nacionales (portuguesas) concebidas para proteger el genoma humano. A continuación, nos proponemos reflexionar sobre los... (ver resumen completo)

 
EXTRACTO GRATUITO
Revista de Derecho y Genoma Humano. Genética, Biotecnología y Medicina Avanzada
Núm. 50, Enero-Junio 2019, Editorial Dykinson, ISSN 1134-7198
© G.I. Cátedra de Derecho y Genoma Humano, Universidad del País V asco UPV/EHU
Rev Der Gen H 50/2019: 89-115 89
Doctrina / Articles
Super-Man syndrome: vulnerability(ies)
and enhancement(s). Legal and ethical
implications of human genetic en-
hancement*
Síndrome de Super-Man: vulnerabilidad(es) y me-
jora(s). Implicaciones legales y éticas de la mejora
genética humana
Eduardo António da Silva Figueiredo
Researcher at the Centre for Biomedical Law, Faculty of Law, University
of Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal)
DOI: 10.14679/1124
Sumario / Summary: 1. Introduction. 2. Brief notes on the concept of “vul-
nerability”. 3. The CRISPR/Cas technique: a “brave new world” for gene
editing? 4. Human rights doctrine and human genetic engineering tying
Prometheus down? 5. The Portuguese Constitutional and legal framework
for gene editing a brief synthesis. 6. Designing supermen. 6.1. What
means “to enhance”? 6.2. Should we enhance? – the quest f or a moral
and juridical basis. 7. Conclusion.
Resumen / Abstract: En este artículo, analizaremos el fenómeno emer-
gente del mejoramiento genético humano, como posible medio de superar la
vulnerabilidad intrínseca de los seres humanos. Con este propósito, comen-
zamos por examinar las principales normas internacionales, supranacionales
y nacionales (portuguesas) concebidas para proteger el genoma humano. A
continuación, nos proponemos reflexionar sobre los principales desafíos
* Article received on October 30, 2018 and accepted for publication November 19,
2018. A special thanks to my dear friends Dra. Sheena CALDWELL and Mariana
CALDWELL for the exquisite linguistic review of this article.
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 /
Transhumanism.
1. Introduction
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/
2077-10-segundos-para-o-futuro.

Para continuar leyendo

SOLICITA TU PRUEBA