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Abstracts from presentations at "Sixth World Congress of Bioethics" 

Session Abstract

The new human genetic technologies present a threshold challenge for humanity. If used properly they hold great promise for treating disease and alleviating suffering. If abused they could open the door to a powerful new eugenics that would objectify human life and undermine the foundations of human society. The rapid development of these technologies has created a civil society deficit. Neither policy makers nor mass publics have had time to fully understand the ethical, social and political stakes and to consider appropriate responses. There are few broadly-based popular institutions seeking to articulate and argue for human genetics policies based on human rights, social justice and global inclusion. In recent years advocates of a new eugenic future for humanity have become increasingly vocal and explicit. It is imperative that concerned leaders and others repudiate this vision. Bans on the most dangerous eugenic technologies, and regulation of other technologies to prevent abuse, need not impede potentially beneficial medical research and applications. The minimal core policies needed to protect our common human...