Article| Volume 10, SUPPLEMENT 1, 36-39, 2005

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New breeds of humans: the moral obligation to enhance1

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      This paper argues that we have a moral obligation to enhance human beings. It is argued that if one is committed to the moral obligation to treat and prevent disease, one is also committed to genetic and other enhancement in so far as this promotes human well-being. It is argued that this is not eugenic but expresses our fundamental human nature: to make rational decisions and to try to improve ourselves. To be human is to strive to be better.


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      Professor Julian Savulescu is Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, UK. He established and is Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is also Head of the Melbourne–Oxford Stem Cell Collaboration at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, devoted to examining the ethical implications of cloning and embryonic stem cell research. He was editor of the prestigious Journal of Medical Ethics.