AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Through ethical reflection, humanity can now keep pace with the challenges of science instead of realizing too late when things have gone wrong
Scientific research on the human genome, and especially on gene therapy and the diagnosis of genetic diseases, has far-reaching implications for the lives of all of us--children, men and women alike. It is a field holding out immense prospects for man's self-transformation and it will, in the long run, require societies to make certain choices. As a result, it is giving rise to anxieties that may in some cases be justified but are more often irrational.
These anxieties lie behind the effort many countries are now making to look into the ethical framework of such research. Legislation is starting to be adopted to define limits for medical practice and some types of research, in order to ensure that human dignity will be respected. Two points must be stressed, however. In the first place, the type of legislation differs significantly from one country to another and we do not have any common yardstick to judge it by. Secondly, it does not exist everywhere in the world, but only in some of the industrial countries. Elsewhere, there are are still a number of grey areas surrounding research and experimentation.
It is for all these reasons that the Director-General of UNESCO decided to set up an International Bioethics Committee and invited Ms. Noelle Lenoir, a member of the Constitutional Council of the French Republic, to preside over its deliberations.
The Committee met for the first time in …