Thomas H. Murray

in The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199562411
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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Understanding the ethics of enhancement begins with getting clear about the concept, as well as the factors likely to move people to pursue biomedical enhancement. This article first considers the usefulness of the distinction between therapy and enhancement for understanding the ethics of enhancement. Once the conceptual underbrush has been cleared away, we can move on to ethics. The next section examines critically a number of arguments that have been offered to defend biomedical enhancement, or, at least, to claim that efforts to deter it are either ethically or practically mistaken. Finally, the article considers a set of arguments that take the ethics of enhancement to be a serious matter and that gives reasons to question whether some biomedical enhancements, for some purposes, may be ethically suspect.

Keywords: ethics of enhancement; biomedical enhancement; human growth hormone; serotonin reuptake inhibitors; central nervous system; moral boundaries

Article.  12101 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Moral Philosophy

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