See this online text:
- “The Catholic Moral Tradition and the Genome Project and Diversity Project”, by Dr. John Fleming, Director, Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, Adelaide, South Australia. Available in pdf format (on this page) at the Adelaide Centre for Bioethics and Culture; and may be read online (on this page) at LifeIssues.net).
In advanced remembrance of Abbot Gregor Mendel, O.S.A., father of genetics (d. 6 January 1884). For other legally free ebooks, you may access the List of Free eBooks (Arranged by Title) and the List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject).
“The biological nature of each person is untouchable in the sense that it is constitutive of the personal identity of the individual throughout the whole course of his history. Each human person, in his absolutely unique singularity, is constituted not only by his spirit, but by his body as well. Thus, in the body and through the body, one touches the person himself in his concrete reality…
“It is on the basis of this anthropological vision that one should find the fundamental criteria for decision-making in the case of not strictly therapeutic interventions, for example, those aimed at the amelioration of the human biological condition.
“In particular, this kind of intervention must not infringe on the origin of human life, that is, procreation linked to the union, not only biological but also spiritual, of the parents, united by the bond of marriage. It must, consequently, respect the fundamental dignity of men and the common biological nature which is at the base of liberty, avoiding manipulations that tend to modify genetic inheritance and to create groups of different men at the risk of causing new cases of marginalization in society.
“Moreover, the fundamental attitudes that inspire the interventions of which we are speaking should not flow from a racist and materialist mentality aimed at a human well-being that is, in reality, reductionist. The dignity of man transcends his biological condition.
“Genetic manipulation becomes arbitrary and unjust when it reduces life to an object, when it forgets that it is dealing with a human subject, capable of intelligence and freedom, worthy of respect whatever may be their limitations; or when it treats this person in terms of criteria not founded on the integral reality of the human person, at the risk of infringing upon his dignity. In this case, it exposes the individual to the caprice of others, thus depriving him of his autonomy.” (Pope St. John Paul II, Address to members of the World Medical Association, October 29, 1983)