Denis Rebrikov, a biochemist who is also rector of a prestigious Russian institute, is thumbing his nose at all of these people who question the ethics of genetic engineering of unborn human beings.
In a recent Bloomberg article, he is reported to have said the following:
- “Everyone is just yammering.”
- Perfecting germline editing is like the arms and space races of the Cold War.
- “I can see the billboard now: ‘You Choose: a Hyundai Solaris or a Super-Child?’”
- “This situation is completely analogous to developing an atomic bomb. Can bad people use technology for bad purposes? Of course. But did ethical concerns stop the Soviet Union from doing so?”
- “What we do is God-pleasing. We heal, just like Jesus did.”
Rebrikov is going ahead with genetically altering a child at the embryonic stage with hopes of preventing a mutation of the gene GJB2 from causing the child to be deaf. This is despite the fact that the same gene influences eye and skin diseases that may be affected with Rebrikov’s foray into little-understood genetic tampering.
But who cares when the dictatorial Vladimir Putin is on your side?
According to Bloomberg, a group of scientists who support Rebrikov’s efforts to boost Russia’s national influence have apparently lobbied Putin’s daughter, an endocrinologist who reportedly seemed to favor their position.
Putin has shown much interest in boosting genetic engineering research in Russia, with an eye on military uses.
In 2017, he predicted “people” would start editing pre-birth human DNA “very soon,” a development with possible military applications that he’s warned could be “more terrible than a nuclear bomb.”
Look: If you open up the ethical possibility that unborn human beings can be genetically engineered to meet whatever goal the parents feel are attractive, you’re going to have governments getting involved.
As with abortion, when you open the floodgates to denying human dignity, you get, well, lots of activities that trample on human dignity.
The fundamental truths are never very complicated.
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Thank you for all you do for human life.
~ Chris Reilly