The Problematic Alleviating Suffering Argument: Why genetic Engineering Is Unnecessary

  • Lorena D├╝rnholz
Keywords: Genetic Engineering, Suffering, Disability, Disease, Health


Few topics are as controversial today as genetic engineering, which would allow parents to screen and subsequently modify the genome of their unborn children. Advocates commonly argue that genetic engineering is desirable because it could prevent diseases and dis- abilities and in this way alleviate suffering. However, this argument relies on a simplistic and one-sided view of health. By adopting a more relational perspective, it becomes clear that genetic engineering is unnecessary, firstly because the amount of suffering asso- ciated with the genetic conditions it could prevent is much lower than one might expect, and secondly because the suffering that might nevertheless be present can also be alleviated by other means, which are to be preferred.