The Chronicle of Higher Education last week published a rather odd article on the evolution of eugenics excerpted from Nathaniel Comfort’s new book The Science of Human Perfection: How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine. It’s odd because, though it acknowledges the evils that eugenicists have historically committed, it assumes that today’s eugenics are (and will remain) entirely benign.
In vitro fertilization, pre-implantation genetic screening, and abortion are so widely accessible and accepted that they play the same role as state-sponsored intervention once did. Eugenics has moved from the realm of state control to individual choice—which means, to the autonomy-maximizing liberal, that eugenics must be an unequivocally good thing.
What are the chances that eugenics, once widely accepted by a given society, will remain voluntary? I believe they’re slim.
View the original article here: Eugenics, Voluntary and Otherwise