Actual visitor responses to the Brave New World case study

A 21-year-old male wrote: Although the short-term prospects for germ-line gene therapy as presented here seem quite promising, the long term impact of this type of therapy seems unknown. From an ethical perspective, therapy to cure genetic diseases seems acceptable--assuming no long term problems--although "genetic enhancement" seems to enter the realm of meddling with nature where one ought not to.

A 33-year-old male responded: "Yes, I think it will have to be used in order to cure certain disease that otherwise aren't curable. I think our society will find a way to differentiate between curing genetic disorder and engineering their children. This visitor thought that genetic engineering should never be used to enhance future generations."

A 22-year-old male wrote: "Hard to say. Gene therapy used to cure people of disease I'm all for, but not that of future generations unless it is used to rid an individual of a disease which could make them have an unhappy life. It's a long jump to go from Tay-Sachs to super humans. I think we forget the role that culture plays in our development. Genes might give us potential but culture tells us how to express it (if at all). Also, why shouldn't we try to find a permanent cure for Tay-Sachs? Someone with the disease (who might pass it onto a child) certainly wants you to. Who am I to say we shouldn't?"

A 75-year-old female raised and then answered her own questions: "Disease control gene therapy? OK Genetic enhancement? Horrors. Nazi-type super race? No way. Parental shopping for fashionable profiles? Acceptable characteristics for genetic engineering are deficiencies that produce retardation." This visitor concludes by writing: "Genetic engineering is an enormous moral responsibility."

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