It has been called 21st century science in a moral dark age. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair announced the completion of the first working draft of the human genome sequence in June last year. Alongside those who were anticipating wonderful new medical advances in the near future were many who were pondering what new atrocities would be committed in the name of science. At a time when there is no consensus as to what a human person is, for what purpose will the human ‘book of life’ be used?
Scientific breakthroughs are big news these days. Scientists discover the gene for this or that disease; new drugs let you lose weight or feel happier or pay attention; there are techniques to make babies for infertile couples or grandmothers; and soon we’ll be able to give grieving parents an exact copy of the child who died. What is more, we all have the absolute right to all of it.