Eugenics Ethical Dilemmas

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Eugenics is the practice or belief of improving the human gene pool by establishing a limitation on breeding to promote the distribution of desirable traits. Although potentially cultivated from good intentions, eugenics is a highly controversial subject that possesses a debatable ethicality. To decide whether eugenics is ethical or not, one must carefully analyze the historical context of the relevant time period, the moral actors, the actors’ possible alternatives, and the responsibilities held by the actors to decide in such a manner. Of uttermost importance, one must take into consideration all factors with the eyes of someone from the early 20th century instead of with our 21st century eyes. By taking this approach, we may be able to…show more content…
The ethical issue with eugenics arises from whether it is morally correct to sterilize or even euthanize individuals because they are deemed unfit, epileptic, possessing negative genetic traits. In turn, a secondary, but equally important question is who decides what is termed as unfit or undesirable traits and what is defined as positive to the gene pool. After careful consideration, eugenics is not ethical, though it may have been the only viable choice available. In addition, no one person has the authority or right to decide what is unfit or not. Eugenics was the response to the degeneration of society and large influx of foreign cultures. Additionally, racism helped to influence the determination of who was to be sterilized. Eugenics possessed noble intentions, aside from the racist basis, in that the best for society was wanted in terms of favorable genetics. However, eugenics was immoral and unethical because of the complete disregard for consent of the individuals, which violated their civil rights. Though the people may not always be right, neither will the government always be perfect. Because of living in a nation with a representative government, individuals have an ethical responsibility to make sure the government is on the right track and not infringing upon the rights of the citizens it was created for as well was remaining ethical at all

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