Responsum: Genetic Engineering
A similar distinction between therapeutic and nontherapeutic ends has been made in regard to cosmetic surgery, permitting this when medically indicated, e.g. following an accident or for grave psychological reasons as well as for promoting the prospects of marriage and employment; but prohibiting such “improvement of God’s work” for purely cosmetic reasons unrelated to any dis- abilities (see my Jewish Medical Ethics, p. 284).
These views, though grounded in Jewish teachings, seek to define moral judgements and values which are clearly applicable to society at large transcending the divisions of race or creed.
Source: ASSIA – Jewish Medical Ethics,
Vol. I, No. 1, May 1988, pp. 10-11
* Introduction by Lord Jakobovitz on p. 77 above.