Heredity and Hope: The Case for Genetic Screening

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					Vol. 15:2 (2009)                                                                                    BOOK REVIEWS

    Indeed, he supports enhancing individuals in almost any desired way. And it is not
only morally defensible to enhance individuals, Harris says. In some cases, it is morally
   Whether one looks upon biotechnology with hope, fear, or a little of both, Enhancing
Evolution makes a case for it that no one can ignore.

Heredity and Hope: The Case for Genetic Screening
Ruth Schwartz Cowan
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In this book, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, who is Professor of History and Sociology of
Science at the University of Pennsylvania, reveals that modern genetic screening has
been practiced since 1960, benefiting millions of women and children all over the world.
She persuasively argues that new forms of screening—prenatal, newborn, and carrier
testing—are both morally right and politically acceptable. Medical genetics, built on the
desire of parents and physicians to reduce suffering and increase personal freedom, not
on the desire to “improve the human race,” is in fact an entirely different enterprise from
    Cowan’s narrative moves from an account of the interwoven histories of genetics and
eugenics in the first half of the 20th century, to the development of new forms of genetic
screening after mid-century. It includes illuminating chapters on the often misunderstood
testing programs for sickle cell anemia, and on the world’s only mandated p
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