Should moral bioenhancement be covert? A response to Crutchfield

Austin-Eames, L. (2023) Should moral bioenhancement be covert? A response to Crutchfield. Neuroethics, 16, 21. (doi: 10.1007/s12152-023-09529-y)

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Crutchfield (Crutchfield in Bioethics 33:112–121, [4]) has argued that if moral bioenhancement (MBE) ought to be compulsory, then it ought to be covert. More precisely, they argue that MBE is a public health intervention, and for this reason should be governed by public health ethics. Taking from various public health frameworks, Crutchfield provides an array of values to consider, such as: utility, liberty, equality, transparency, social trust, and autonomy. Subsequently, they argue that a covert MBE programme does better than an overt one, in preserving or promoting said values, and hence, that a covert MBE is preferable. In this paper, I will provide novel reasons to doubt that the relevant values are in fact better promoted or preserved by a covert MBE programme. Additionally, I will provide a novel autonomy-based consideration which counts in favour of the MBE programme being overt, rather than covert. Given that as things currently stand it is unclear which kind of MBE programme is preferable, the upshot of my criticism of Crutchfield will be to provide some recommendations as to how we might proceed in establishing whether a covert or overt MBE programme fares better.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Austin-Eames, Mr Louis
Authors: Austin-Eames, L.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities
Journal Name:Neuroethics
ISSN (Online):1874-5504
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Author
First Published:First published in Neuroethics 16:21
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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