Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy

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An existential analysis of genetic engineering and human rights treatises

Nelson Udoka Ukwamedua, George Okunromi Ojebun


Genetic engineering for purposes of human enhancement poses risks that justify regulation. However, this paper argues philosophically that it is inappropriate to use human rights treaties to prohibit germ-line genetic engineering whether therapeutic or for purposes of enhancement. When also looked at existentially, the scope and weight of human rights really make them poor tools for regulating a rapidly developing technology such as genetic engineering. Therefore, international treaties are appropriate regulatory tools as long as prohibitions are not put in terms of human rights.

Keywords: Genetic Engineering, Human Rights, Treaties, Identity, Therapeutic, Dignity, Cloning

AJOL African Journals Online