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Human Enhancement


Human enhancement expresses the often difficult determination of utilizing medical and technological advances beyond restorative or otherwise therapeutic purposes. Such enhancements may include such the elective alteration of the human body through augmentation (such as cosmetic surgery for nonmedical purposes) or genetic interventions (such as germline gene therapies and designer babies) as well as attempts to improve or alter functionality such as cognitive or performance enhancement. Such enhancement efforts as are promoted by proponents of transhumanism or posthumanism further pursue the development and use of a broad range of emerging technologies (including nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, information technologies, and developments in the cognitive sciences) for the expressed purpose of human enhancement to intentionally evolve or move beyond the physical constraints and life span of the human species.


  • Michael Sleasman, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity” (An overview of bioethics and the breadth of issues it encompasses).
  • Brent Waters, “Revitalizing Medicine: Empowering Natality vs. Fearing Mortality” Part I and Part II.
  • Paige Comstock Cunningham, “Baby-Making: The Fractured Fulfillment of Huxley's Brave New World, Part 1 and Part II.”
  • William Cheshire, Jr., “Grey Matters: Just Enhancement.”
  • William Cheshire, Jr., “Grey Matters: Accelerated Thought in the Fast Lane.”
  • Brent Waters, “The Future of the Human Species, Part I and Part II.”
  • Susan Rouse, “Cognitive Enhancement in Education: The State of the Issue and A Literature Review.”
  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, “The Body and the Quest for Control: Appreciating the Complex Nature of Human Embodiment.”
  • Edmund Pellegrino, “Biotechnology, Human Enhancement, and the Ends of Medicine.”
  • Gilbert Meilaender, “Beyond Therapy: A Report of the President’s Council on Bioethics.”


Position Statement