Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Preconception genetic testing should be more widely available, says UK commission

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 08 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2324

Rapid Response:

Eugenics & Euthenics

There are two competing philosophies about societal progress:
eugenics and euthenics. Eugenics seeks to improve gene pools, while
euthenics seeks to improve the environment. In both cases, scientists
study, measure, and quantify various parameters. But in neither case do
scientists consider such unquantifiable parameters as courage, creativity,
compassion, humility, and self-sacrifice, all of which are essential for
societal progress. So let's not succumb to a fallacy of false choices, by
overlooking the ineffable, immeasurable human spirit.

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 May 2011
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA