As our technology continues to advance, new breakthroughs in medicine are discovered. With these new developments serious ethical and moral questions arise. Advancements in genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, cloning, organ transplanting, and human experimentation are all causes of concern.
The Human Genome Project, an incredible scientific undertaking determined to produce a map of the human DNA code, will tell us how each gene or group of genes function. With this map, scientists and doctors will be able to figure out how genes can malfunction and cause deadly diseases (Lemonick 1999). Of course, they will also know what each gene controls, and how to manipulate and control our genes to get the specified, desired results. This is exactly the type of tool researchers need to perfect the science of eugenics. "Eugenics"- a powerful word from the Greek stem meaning "good in birth" (www.merriam-webster.com). In the past, it was thought that we could improve the quality of the human race by making it impossible for those with undesirable traits to reproduce.
Charles Davenport once said that he hoped "human matings could be placed on the same high plane as that of horse breeding" (qtd. in Yount 2001). Many states in the United States have put into place laws that required people in custody with hereditary defects to be sterilized. The false science of eugenics and purification of the human race swayed these states.
One such example of this is the 1927 Supreme Court case of Buck vs. Bell. The result of this case was the sterilization of Carrie Buck, the seventeen year old daughter of a "feeble-minded" mother; the mother a seven month old daughter, already determined to be of "subnormal intelligence"; legally declared a "moral imbecile" herself. But the concept of purging our race was not present in the United...