Genetic Alterations††




We† now† have† the† capability† to† genetically† alter† human

characteristics† like† intelligence,† height,† and† strength. H ow† should

society regard this, as a boon or as a potential danger?




For† many† years† we† have† used† conventional† methods† such† as

education,† exercise,† and† diet† to† alter† human† characteristics† like

intelligence, height, and† strength. The† new† genetic† method† should

not† be† considered† a† potential† danger† as† long† as† it† is† safe† and

accessible, without discrimination.

From† the† standpoint† of† Jewish† ethics,† it† is† permissible† to

undergo† artificial† procedures† such† as† artificial† insemination† (A IH )

or† in-vitro† fertilization† (IV F)† only† when† they† are† medically

indicated.† These† procedures† are† not† permitted† solely† for† the

purposes of preselecting the fetusís gender or other characteristics.†

H owever, if† the† procedure† is† being† performed† anyway, due† to

medical† indications,† preselection† of† the† fetusís† gender† or† other

characteristics,† such† as† intelligence,† height,† or† strength,† may† be