DR. ROWLEY: But then if one is — because it
seems to me that the major concern or a major concern that has been expressed
is how we will be able to manipulate DNA such that we will enhance the
zygote to develop into a smarter, stronger, to quote Paul, faster human
And it's in that area — and I think I mentioned this in the first meeting
— all of these traits involve anywhere from 50 to 100 to 200 individual
genes working together in a highly regulated, concerted fashion to lead
to somebody who is very smart or very tall, or whatever.
We don't have a clue about that. We probably are not going to have a clue
about those interactions, both positive and negative, for another 10 or
20 years. So I think that enhancement, in terms of somebody — for reproductive
cloning is so far down the line that, again, that's not an issue that
we need to take up.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Let me say there has been talk
about our report. This is not — this discussion about enhancement is
not for the cloning project. I mean, this is question — one of the nice
things about this question is that it's not tied to any particular technique,
but it is a kind of question that cuts across the board and enables us
to ask, how do we begin to think about the uses of powers that go beyond
therapy, however broadly we finally decide we should define therapy? What
norms and standards should guide us?
And I think Janet's point is very well taken. My own suspicion is that
this fine-tuning of the higher human powers through genetic intervention
is mostly talk, and certainly talk for a long time. But pharmacological
things, things based upon coming trends in neural science, or the use
of — and the Olympic Committee is already quite concerned about blood
doping the muscle mass of mice.
Using just injection of — using DNA vectors to — in mice has increased
their muscle mass some threefold. And the Olympic Committee is already
very concerned about the uses of EPO to change performance — in effect,
the whole character of the Olympics.
So I think we should — if we are going to take this up, if we take it
up, we should be very careful to use examples that are here, plausible,
and not simply leap to the things that are far-fetched. I think that's
a caution very, very well taken.
I have Charles, Gil, and Elizabeth. Was it on this point, Elizabeth? Because
I don't —
DR. BLACKBURN: A very small point.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please.
DR. BLACKBURN: You said DNA vectors. And I
thought since we are in a large group of people with different backgrounds
we should just define that. It does not mean introducing DNA into the
cells or the genome of people, but simply the DNA is used to make the
product that you are talking about.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes.
DR. BLACKBURN: I'm not sure if that was clear
to everybody. I thought that it was worth clarifying that technical terminology.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you. I lost my place. Charles
and then Gil, Michael Sandel, and Dan.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: It was deeply refreshing to
go a half hour without hearing the word "embryo."
But that's over now.
I agree with you that we ought to concentrate on the here and now, and
that means one-shot enhancement versus germ line enhancement. But I'm
not sure that one-shot enhancement — I mean, the kinds of things that
Dr. McHugh was talking about, are that much unrelated to the age-old enhancement
I mean, we have a paradigm for dealing with enhancement. It's not exactly
a new problem. It's got new dimensions. I think what is new is the prospect
it could be a decade or two or more away of — germ line enhancement —
of changing us permanently. And as a Commission with a wide mandate, I'd
like — I'd hope that we could discuss that also. We probably would be
the first to think about it officially. We might contribute to people's
thinking about it when it becomes more imminent.
And one of the reasons it's important, as Professor Glendon mentioned,
there is a question of economics. There's a deep question of, as opposed
to international inequality, of national inequality. If we are going to
have permanent enhancements of a similar kind to germ line enhancements,
it is overwhelmingly likely that it'll be the rich and that those well-positioned
who will have access, and what that does is it changes a society with
shifting inequalities to a society of permanent inequalities.
And that I think is a deep social issue which will really challenge us
in the future. And even though it is in the future, I think it's worth
us thinking about now as a way to contribute to people thinking about
it when it actually becomes imminent.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thanks, Charles.
PROF. MEILAENDER: Yes. I just wanted to think
a little bit about where Paul started us, because I really do think if
we're going to try to say anything about this, or even just talk about
it, it's very puzzling.
If we start at the furthermost reaches of Paul's set of possibilities — I mean, people don't just want to — they don't just say they want
to be taller, stronger, brighter. I want to be those things because I'm
not happy right now. You know? I'm just not happy with my place in the
world. Or maybe if I have taken a philosophy course, I'm feeling alienated
So the — if we're not able to make some kind of therapy enhancement distinction,
we're not going to know or we're not going to have any sense of kind of
what it would be appropriate for a doctor to decline to do, what it would
be appropriate to think that somebody — some third party should fund,
what it would be appropriate to regulate or not regulate.
And, I mean, Paul presented a series of steps, but I don't think there's
any reason to think that what I counted as number 6 in it, you know, has
thus far been demonstrated to be enhancement as opposed to therapy.
Now, I think it is, in fact, but one needs an argument more clearly spelled
out. And even going farther up, you know, the emotional reactions to life
stresses, well, there are a lot of religious thinkers who think that life
is always stressful, and that it's not actually wrong to feel alienated
in the universe. After all, one needs a certain kind of answers to those
That's not necessarily a medical problem. That might be really keen insight
into the nature of things.
So this is just — I mean, this is not to provide an answer but to say
that I don't think there is any progress to be made in thinking about
the question if somehow or other we don't really clarify that issue, not
just talk about it but actually try to clarify for ourselves what it is.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Could I — no, let me hold back.
We'll come back to it. Let's go in queue. Michael Sandel and then Dan,
Frank, and Rebecca. That's what I have.
PROF. SANDEL: I do think we should take up the
topic, and I think we need to address the questions that Gil and others
have raised. We have to — apart from deciding where the line is between
legitimate therapy and enhancement, and in the course of drawing that
line, we'll have to press ourselves, demand of ourselves, that we try
to articulate what human goods are at stake in drawing a line, whether
for moral or regulatory purposes.
In the case of — and I think that we can do that. I suspect — and this
is just initial speculation — that the objections that we will find ourselves
articulating to enhancement, whether of the one-shot or of the germ line
kind, will have some close kinship with the best reasons to worry about
reproductive cloning, which is that in both cases the morally troubling
feature is a kind of hubris and a picture — a world picture in which
we, as human beings, aspire to mastery or sovereignty or control — ultimate
control — over nature and ourselves such that we come to be and to see
ourselves as self-creating beings who can make ourselves over according
to our desires.
I think that's what's troubling about reproductive cloning because it's
cloning for a child of a certain kind, according to our own design and
ambition. And I think that's ultimately the moral part of the objection
And in order to draw the distinction, even if that's the underlying moral
worry, we are going to have to try to work out some account of what normal
human flourishing is, or health, and that might be that account which
isn't an easy matter to articulate. That kind of account would have to
provide reasons to restrain the drive to self-mastery and self-perfection
that may underlie — may animate the drive to enhancement and perfection,
and that we would want to reign in.
I would also — so I think that's the fundamental moral issue that we're
going to — and I think we should try to take it up, and others may have
different ways of accounting for what troubles us about enhancement. But
I would just also want to add support to Mary Ann's proposal that we include
in these discussions the economic dimension.
Now, there is a certain paradox in having these two discussions, because
on the one hand we're saying these various techniques of enhancement are
deeply dehumanizing properly understood. And then, with another part of
ourselves we say, and, by the way, we also worry that these dehumanizing
technologies will only be available to the rich, and that's unfair.
So I think there is that paradox. But I don't think the fact that it's
paradoxical should lead us to shrink from either part of that discussion,
because I think there is something troubling on both poles of that paradox.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Ice cream is equally dehumanizing,
but everybody wants it.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please, Janet, a quick point.
DR. ROWLEY: This is just a quick response to
Michael, because one of the nice things about Paul's discussion was that
he emphasized that this is really a continuum of things about which there
would be almost no question to things that we all sort of laugh at and
hope that we don't have such a shallow view of ourselves and our place
in the universe.
But, you see, Michael continually used the word "line," that
there is a line over which you go. There is no line in my view, and the
line is going to depend — for each individual case it will be different
and the circumstances of those cases. So to deal with this discussion
as though there is an absolute answer, which will be applicable across
all of these complex situations, I think is not correct.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Well, I'll sit back.
That's the trouble with conversation. You really want to continue it,
but there's a queue. Dan?
DR. FOSTER: I only want to make one — by the
way, I agree with the issues of justice and the other things that have
been said, and I certainly think — and I've already told Leon, I think
we clearly have to discuss the issue of germ line therapy.
And, by the way, even when you do somatic gene therapy, it's now clear
that there's a danger of leak into the gonads. I mean, for the genes that
you put into the muscle, there's a clear-cut risk of overflow into the
germ cells. So we have to be careful about that.
I only wanted to say in terms of life enhancement and extension of life
that — particularly extension of life that Bill spoke about, we know
pretty well already how one can extend healthy life from Drosophila through
— not absolutely proven in humans, but indirectly, and that is to undereat.
There is no doubt — it was first shown in rats by Donald Massoro 25 years
ago at the NIH, that if you semi-starve rats that you increase their lives
20 to 30 — now, if you starve a fruit fly, it's very interesting. This
was done and people didn't understand why the flies were living for a
long time. Not only did they live, but they were reproductive late into
life. They continued to be able to reproduce.
And the key gene involved with that — these gene people always give these
cute names to them — it's called INDY. I'm Not Dead Yet. That's the INDY
— in the fly. You know, it's just like Tin Man gene in heart development.
The Tin Man had no heart, and if this gene is mutated you don't get a
heart, you know, so they — so there are things that we can do without
any biotechnology or anything else just by healthy things that would allow
us presumably to live long. We don't know whether the dementia would be
impaired or things of that sort.
You have to be careful, because I get challenged about this sometimes.
If you measure the body mass index, which is what everybody uses for obesity
and weight, it's just the weight adjusted for height. And a normal body
mass index is 25, and obesity is at 27 in this country, 30 in the world.
It's a J-shaped curve of excess mortality.
So, in other words, as you go above — as you get more and more obese,
then it's a logarithmic increase in deaths from everything from colon
cancer to diabetes, and so forth. But it's a J-shaped curve, so if you're
BMI is very low, that you have an excess mortality as well. Those are
sick people. Those are people with restricting anorexia nervosa, where
you have sudden death, or cancer, and so forth. So don't be misled by
that J-shaped curve. That's a pathologic — the short curve on that is
So my point is that there are an awful lot of things that we could do — we can do to "enhance life" by just being healthy, and I
just wanted to make that point.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Thank you.
PROF. FUKUYAMA: I wanted to respond to something
that Janet said, and then to ask Paul a question. I really think that
the whole question of germ line engineering is one that we have to address.
I think that — and, in fact, the complexity of genetic causation is actually
one of the reasons that we have to address it, because the simple fact
that we're not going to understand that complexity in its fullness is
I think one of the reasons that it's dangerous.
I don't think that's going to stop people from, you know, going ahead
and doing experiments on animals in which they modify, you know, one gene
and it produces an effect, and then they will try to, you know, reproduce
that in humans. And I think what's really problematic about that is precisely
because that causality is so complex that it's not like approving a new
drug — you know, the FDA approving a new drug where you have a certain
set of side effects you're looking for.
I mean, the side effects of that kind of intervention could be, you know,
things that don't show up until the — you know, the subject is 60 years
old. I mean, they may be very subtle. It may upset all sorts of different
kinds of balance.
So it's — I think that, you know, inherently there's got to be a different,
you know, standard for approving that. But that — simply the fact that
it's complex is not going to, you know, stop development in that area.
And, therefore, I think it is something we need to look at.
My question for Paul is it really does seem that psychiatry is a really
different domain. And, for example, I don't really understand the process
by which things get entered into the DSM as disorders, because it seems
to me that that's basically a political negotiation more than a scientific
But I wondered if you could — because in other areas of medicine I think
there are things that people pretty much agree are pathologies, and there's
good reason — there's an etiology, and so forth. But in psychiatry, that's
DR. MCHUGH: For some psychiatrists it's not
true. I'd put it to you that way. I think DSM-IV is the ultimate extension
of a problem that we solved — we tried to solve 20 years ago, and it's
now a problem in itself, demonstrating that the problems of today are
due to the solutions of yesterday.
Let me just make that clear. In the 1970s, psychiatrists couldn't do research,
really, because they couldn't agree on what was, for example, schizophrenia.
You're called schizophrenia in Baltimore; you'd be called manic depression
or maybe panic anxiety in San Diego.
The DSM process was to try to give us a common nomenclature with the idea
that we would become more reliable. And, therefore, if I said I did research
on schizophrenia and had these results in Baltimore, it would be replicable
in Boston as they were trying to find reliability.
But DSM-IV and DSM-III are really a nomenclature that could as easily
be organized alphabetically as it could any other way. And now we are
really troubled by two things in it. One, that it's drifting away from
medicine. We are inventing more and more diseases or disorders in DSM-IV,
such that it's expanding exponentially. There are now 2,000 different
forms of depression that you could figure out from that book.
And there are also conditions that are invented that are in that book.
You have to just get a group of psychiatrists together, and if they say
something exists they can put it in the book. I'm surprised — you know,
I'm happily surprised that witches aren't in the book. There are criteria
for finding a witch, after all, but we had that trouble before. So —
CHAIRMAN KASS: That's not a disorder anymore.
DR. MCHUGH: Excuse me?
CHAIRMAN KASS: I said that's not a disorder
DR. MCHUGH: That's not a disorder anymore, but
CHAIRMAN KASS: It's a lifestyle.
DR. MCHUGH: I can show you the book in which
they show you this is an operationalized term. You drop them in the water.
If they sink, they're not a witch. If they float, they are.
Massachusetts has a lot to answer for.
The future right now, in my opinion — this is a side issue, but it relates
to what we're talking about. Psychiatry has to move in a direction of
more and more valid conditions that relate to certain kinds of underpinnings
that relate to the brain or to other clear human disorders.
And we have not done that, and I think the next 10 years is going to be
very interesting in the developing of DSM-V. If DSM-V is identical, or
just an extension of DSM-IV, that will be a disaster for this discipline.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Could I add a cul-de-sac on
that diversion? I worked on DSM-III in the '70s, particularly with Jerry
Clerman on the depressive disorders. And you're right, Frank. There's
a lot of politics in it in the end. It was — as was pointed out; it was
a serious attempt to systematize nosology and to get sort of a reproducible
list of symptoms and signs that would model what happens in the rest of
But in the end, of course, it's politics, unlike — I suppose unlike the
criteria for Type 1 diabetes. The criteria for major depression are negotiable,
so you negotiate them; you end up with a consensus.
The one virtue is that you establish a preliminary consensus in DSM-III,
and then you spend a decade seeing if empirically it separates patients
into groups that are therapeutically useful. And that's how over time
you eliminate the politics. But as of now, there's a lot of politics in
CHAIRMAN KASS: Rebecca, Mike Gazzaniga.
PROF. DRESSER: When we talk about decision-making
about enhancements or borderline conditions, I think we should approach
it with the recognition that these decisions will be made at different
levels. I doubt if there are many bans. There might be some. But there
will be decisions on allocation of resources.
And professional standards — that is, clinicians saying here is what
we consider to be legitimate practice of our profession, professional
integrity issues — and then decisions by people who are seeking these
interventions. And I think the rubber meets the road pretty much on these
final two — in these final two areas about — and I think it was in the
early '90s I was trying to help draft a statement on use of growth hormone
for the American Academy of Pediatrics Bioethics Committee.
And we all agreed that this — the reason people don't want to be short
is primarily due to social reasons. That is, if it weren't a stigmatized
condition, and if cars and kitchens and so forth were designed to fit
people who were short, then this would not be a problem.
On the other hand, the pediatricians say, "What am I supposed to
do when the parents come in with their short kid? Everybody is miserable.
It looks like the child is going to be short for genetic reasons. How
do I say no to those people? You know, I need help."
So the pediatricians need help, and then the people seeking these technologies — I hope that we can help people think better about these choices, because
I think a lot of the demand will come from them. So how can we help people
be more thoughtful, aware of the risks? And, of course, most of these
things will have some risks — and also, the nature of the benefit.
As Gil said, people do these things because they think it will make them
happier. And how valid is that belief? Is there anything we can say about
PROF. DRESSER: Mike?
DR. GAZZANIGA: Well, I want to take credit for
having paid for two of Paul's two-shot enhancers last night —
— leading to his eloquent opening remarks that really paint a picture.
I thought I'd follow up and just get off the germ thing and the clones
and the embryos and talk about some of the other gadgets that are around,
because I think this is one of the concerns that sort of comes out in
the paper, and so forth.
So, in the sphere of high-tech possible aids that are coming down the
pike, now being worked on diligently to — for therapy of spinal cord
injury, there are people that are working on devices that can somehow
read the electrophysiological state of the motor cortex and interpret
it through mathematical algorithms that somehow figure out what the motor
cortex is trying to say to the spinal cord, and then to physically jump
over the lesion the person has at whatever level, plug in the electrodes
below the lesion, and by thinking as it were their way through the movement,
energize the neurons below the cut and thereby giving rise to mobility.
Now that's a — we're nowhere near there, but there are very, very clever
people working hard at this and making advances. Slow, hard advances,
I might add, but it's something that's in the tube.
Now, what then comes along is other research that shows that maybe there
is some way you can read the desire to figure out what two plus two is
by reading your brainwaves and then access this through some artifact
that you might have on the side of your head that actually solves the
problem for you.
So instead of you struggling with your multiplication tables or your —
whatever, this device picks up the essential brain circuitries, pattern
of activity, sends it over to this machine, the machine says, oh, he's
trying to figure out this problem, the machine figures it out, sends it
back to your brain, and the kid raises his hand right as the button — I got the answer before everybody else in the class.
That, too, is a dream at this point. It's talked about, written about,
but no one really quite takes it seriously yet. But you can — the way
that could work certainly is in the thought processes of some.
But I think this feeds back immediately to the — so there are these things.
There are these whole other area of technological developments that the
world is going to be hearing about in the press way before it gets solidly
built up in the scientific literature.
But, of course, I'm kind of of the view that there isn't a thing that
our human species doesn't adapt to once they think about it and absorb
into its evolutionary sequence. And we have these enhancements all over
the place. The kids now take their graphic calculator in to take the SAT
test, and that didn't — that wasn't allowed a few years ago.
So there are environmental enhancers. You can go take the Kaplan test
and pretty much bump your score up a couple hundred points if you work
hard on it. And all of these things — and I don't think that a reasonable
group of people, certainly those of us involved in higher education, see
those things as relevant, particularly relevant variables, because what
you want to do in science is try to identify the student that is creative,
insightful, sees a problem in a way that everybody else in the lab doesn't
And once they have an insight and then do the experiment, all of this
sort of elevated notion of being higher on an SAT is just part of the
data analysis. And the data analysis is — while it seems opaque and hard
to do when you don't know anything about it, that's the easiest part of
a scientific exchange is coming up with the idea and the insight on how
to proceed is the challenge. And I don't think anybody has a clue about
what sort of gene manipulation encourages that kind of thing. It's a rare,
rare thing to see.
And, finally, to return to the germ line issue, which is obviously an
important issue, there are many — I think the Council would be well advised
to have, as we did yesterday, two leaders of this come in. There are certain
major molecular biologists — Eric Lander comes to mind at MIT, who is
totally against any germ line manipulation, and there are other biologists
— I can't think of one right now, who would be the best for promoting
But there is major thinking going on in the major intellectual centers
on this point, and I think we'd be well informed to hear about them before
we go too far in thinking about it from an ethical point of view.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Michael, thank you.
PROF. SANDEL: I wanted to go back to the moral
questions associated with the allocation of resources that Mary Ann raised.
And I think this is an issue whether we're in the realm of pharmacological
or surgical or genetic interventions for enhancement.
There are a couple of ways one could imagine dealing with this problem.
One of them struck me when a year or two ago I read an article about a
cure for wrinkles, some kind of wrinkle remover that was produced by a
cosmetics company and extremely successful financially.
And it turned out that the compound used in the wrinkle treatment if just
slightly reformulated was also a cure for sleeping sickness. And the company
agreed to work with a foundation and to make available for free through
its production facilities this slightly reformulated version of the wrinkle
cream which it could produce in massive amounts because of the huge market
for enhancement to cure a disease which was far more morally significant
but which would never have been invested in had that been the only reason.
When I read about this, I didn't know whether to be heartened or distressed,
heartened that it was a creative solution to the problem, the distress
that sleeping sickness and similar morally pressing diseases are only
attended to insofar as they happen to coincide with a cure for wrinkles,
and so that — insofar as there are those opportunities, that would be
one way of dealing with the problem.
But I want to go back to the face lifts that Paul raised — low-tech enhancement
— and to I think — the germ line questions force our attention to existing
practices that may be morally questionable. And as for the face lifts,
surgical or through this Botox, it seems to me — well, I'm not sure,
Paul, where you put it on your list, but I take it you don't admire it.
It's not something you find morally admirable — the purely cosmetic face
One way we might deal with that — and Janet is worried about excessive
regulation. We wouldn't need — if we found — of course, in all these
cases, if we find something morally troubling it's a further question
what the law should do or what regulation should do.
But if we agree that face lifts, for example, are not morally admirable,
but yet they don't pose such a grave problem that they should be legally
banned, what we might do with them is what we do with alcohol. We can
impose a sin tax. We could consider that face lifts are not a crime but
a sin, and, therefore, they should be subject to a sin tax, the revenues
of which should go toward the health, or the restoring to health in the
case of things like sleeping sickness and malaria that wouldn't otherwise
get the resources. That's a modest proposal.
DR. MCHUGH: Can I just say what I do think about
It's all in this area of facial cosmetics, which go from treatments that
I think we would be very happy to offer anybody to ones that we think
that vanity is being served. And there is no — I don't see a good, clear
line, because, again, orthodontia could be put into that, too.
Lots of people who were poor when they were children and couldn't have
orthodontia and are still unhappy about their teeth get it in their forties
and fifties. I had a secretary who, fortunately, got some — she began
— I would hate to tax her for that, because she was always very distressed
about her teeth.
PROF. SANDEL: Orthodontia is not a sin in the
way face lifts are, insofar as it does have some relation to health, even
though, you know, it may be marginal.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Elizabeth? Bill?
DR. HURLBUT: I think that one of the things
that we have to do is to realize that we are already in an era of enhancement
in a certain sense in ways that we haven't been fully attentive to as
I mentioned the first day the issue of contraception, and here I don't
bring it up to judge it, just to say that it was a kind of alteration
of our natural reality that slipped in along the gradient of apparent
human good, or at least a desire, that went — came in fairly unquestioned
at the time, had a significant impact on altering our personal lives and
our social existence, and now we're slowly getting a perspective on it.
But this brings me to what I really wanted to mention. That is that at
the foundation of this whole question of enhancement are deeper philosophical,
almost religious questions about, what is nature, and what kind of a mind
has this world produced in the creatures that now have the power to govern
Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is
that it's comprehensible. That's — I think he meant mathematically, but
the question is whether it's morally comprehensible in the sense that
we understand ourselves. It's clear that we live and will use our new
powers along the gradients of our desires, but within the natural mind
it seems to me that desires function as impulses toward a direction, not
necessarily a destination as such.
So that if desires, like, for example, the desire to eat that Dan was
just speaking of, it may be good for you ultimately to eat less, but in
our environment of evolution and adaptation we developed a strong tendency
to want to eat more. And so now that we have refrigerators we basically
have at our hands more than it's good for us to eat. And so now we have
an epidemic of obesity.
So that seems to me to be a fundamental issue. We have to figure out how
we relate to nature, what is good within the order of nature, and it's
going to take not just scientific knowledge but a kind of self-knowledge
of what's driving the force that would produce the gradients along which
we would move toward our enhancements.
Does that make sense?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes. Thank you.
Elizabeth, did you want to — nothing? Bill May, and then I'd like to
put myself on the list.
DR. MAY: As I recall, Alasdair MacIntyre a number
of years ago wrote a piece responding to Joe Fletcher's essay on the markers
of humanhood, which Joe Fletcher had justified designing improvements
in human beings' intelligence and the rest.
And MacIntyre puzzled on the question of what kind of humanity you would
like to see in future people, and he ultimately decided that the kind
of humanity you'd like to see there would be precisely those dispositions
that would lead them to renounce the hubris, the arrogance of designing
irreversibly their descendants. A very interesting, ironic piece.
I suppose germ line enhancements would give future generations one more
reason to resent the overreaching of their parents — their designer parents
— unless one could build into the enhancement the disposition to gratitude.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Let me make a couple of comments
and then try to maybe get a little more focus into the way in which we
are proceeding. I think — just a number of observations I guess, not
First of all, I think we all recognize that there is continuity here with
no lines, which makes this very difficult. The people who trot into this
discussion by saying enhancement versus therapy haven't thought enough
about it, because the area — nevertheless, that there is a twilight doesn't
mean that at a certain point you know that it's day and at a certain point
that you know that it's night.
And it's incumbent upon us if we think that there is some distinction
here, however fuzzy the boundary is, that's worth making — it seems to
me it's worth struggling to try to clarify what it is that is at stake
and what it is that — how we might evaluate it. That would be point number
And I think this point has been made by others, but the fact that there
is already precedent — that was in a way the part — the force of Michael
Sandel's question to you, Paul. The fact that certain sorts of things
are already accepted, and, therefore, might serve as precedent for the
next step cuts in two directions.
We might reevaluate where it is we have gone and see it only in the light
of hindsight. And the fact that there are environmental kinds of enhancements
may or may not be precedent-setting for what to think about enhancements
written into the human body or mind, whether reversible or not.
I'm not begging the question. I'm simply raising it. We came to this before
when one wondered about, what's the difference between bioengineering
and social engineering? And does it have a kind of different moral character
for us to consider?
Third comment — and that has to do with I think it's very — it has to
do with the business about inequality and justice. And my response to
Michael's very astute observation is to say it's very easy I think for
us to treat this question in terms of the distributive justice question
and to also recognize what a precious — what preciousness there is to
be sitting talking about these sorts of things when there are really much
more profound human concerns and questions about the uses of our resources,
and so on.
But I think we would do ourselves a disservice if we immediately said,
look, the real problem here is that some will have and some will not.
I think the first question is whether the thing which is sought for is,
in fact, desirable because there will be a great deal of pressure to have
what this is, if, in fact, it turns out to be good. And all you'd have
to do would be to take a look at the example of the Ritalin use for improved
Let's assume for the moment that there is something like this which actually
improves attention span and people get wind of it. The pressure, even
on the people who have no interest in using it, is comparable to the pressure
that is now available to extra tutoring and extra — those sorts of things.
So that even if it — we don't — even if we leave these matters to free,
private choice, the social pressure in the direction of using these various
kinds of enhancements, at least in this community, would be considerable.
So I think it's rather important for us to try to look — to not start
with the question of inequality or distribution, but to look at the question
of the enhancement itself, or the alleged enhancement itself, and see
what one thinks about it and what its human costs might be, assuming that
the blessings of it could flow to everybody. Okay?
Now, maybe we could make some progress on this if we took one of the examples
here that's been put before us by the staff for discussion. And I don't
know which of them would be most fruitful, but —
PROF. FUKUYAMA: Leon?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please.
PROF. FUKUYAMA: I have a suggestion.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Oh, please, Frank.
PROF. FUKUYAMA: I mean, this — I mean, I actually
was going to talk about the Ritalin example, which I think would serve
your purpose as an illustration of —
CHAIRMAN KASS: Well, let's do that. Do you want
to start off?
PROF. FUKUYAMA: Yes. Well, I mean, this in a
way anticipates what I was going to say when we started talking about
regulation in the next session. But you already have a case with the drug
Ritalin where you basically have a distinction made between therapeutic
and enhancement uses.
And, actually, the point I was going to make when I put myself on the
queue was that I think that actually it is easier to make that distinction
in practice by a regulatory agency than it is to make it theoretically
sitting around a table, you know, with very wise people like this, because,
in fact, you know, there is no — well, if you take something like Ritalin,
it's used to treat this condition ADHD, which it seems to me is a classic
case of a socially constructed disease.
I mean, it's not actually a disease, but it's simply the tail of a, you
know, distribution of normal behaviors. And when you get far enough out
into the tail, you know, by these very subjective diagnostic criteria
that are now in the DSM, you say, okay, this kid has ADHD, and then you
can — a doctor can prescribe Ritalin.
And I think using your example about the twilight, you know, there is
no — people wouldn't have any question about its appropriateness for
people way out in the tail. And I think they would also have a lot of
question about pure enhancement use when you're simply, you know, cramming
for an SAT, and, you know, have no problem with attention normally.
But you've got this big area, you know, in the middle where I think most
of the controversy lies about, you know, whether it's being over-prescribed.
And so you can't imagine a drug or a condition that is more subject to
this fuzzy boundary between therapy and enhancement, and yet we regulate
it, and I think we regulate it, you know, not terribly unsuccessfully.
The DEA prescribes it. It's a Schedule II drug, which means that it is
controlled by the DEA as a controlled substance because it is an amphetamine,
and it is prohibited as illegal to use it for, you know, pure enhancement
uses. But it can be prescribed for therapeutic uses by a physician.
And, you know, you can't justify theoretically, you know, why the cutoff
line is where these particular regulatory agencies say it is. And then
there's obviously a lot of argument back and forth. And yet in practice,
you know, we are able to maintain that kind of a distinction. And I would
say that in a lot of other areas, as a practical matter, we will be able
to do that.
In all regulation, no regulator can really ever justify the line that
they make. I mean, they say, you know, eight parts per million rather
than 11 parts per million. Well, why? I mean, you know, in fact it could
be moved up or down. But, you know, regulation is a political process
in which you get various interested parties that push and shove. And if
the institution is designed properly, you can actually come up with a
kind of social compromise that is not theoretically justifiable, but,
in fact, you know, draws that distinction.
And I think that, you know, as a matter of, you know — I mean, there
will be plenty of these fuzzy areas, but I think we already have precedent
for society drawing distinctions between, you know, therapeutic and enhancement
uses of, you know, psychotropic drugs. And so I don't see why that won't
be possible to do in the case of, you know, upcoming technologies as well.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Well, what's your confidence
in this? No, I mean, because, I mean, so far the pressures for pushing
the boundary have been relatively slight. I mean, well, put it — I guess
your question could be followed up in a number of different ways.
Is the implication of this that the philosophical question of where the
boundary is, or is it good or bad, is not worth our trouble because the
prudent people will somehow intuitively know where it is and take care
of it if we give them the proper regulatory mechanism?
Or that the medical profession, which is in charge of prescribing, already
has sort of sufficient internalized norms of what is the proper professional
use and that they won't give out feel-good pills or, in the elite places,
actually administer Ritalin on the side for testing purposes. What follows
PROF. FUKUYAMA: Well, what I draw from this
is that you see — you hear a lot of discussions, like the one we've had
this morning, in which people quite rightly say, oh, it's very hard to
draw a distinction between therapy and enhancement and give lots of examples
why that's the case. And the conclusion they draw from that is, therefore,
let's not even try to, you know, make that boundary as a practical matter.
And all I'm saying is I don't — I mean, I'm sure there are a lot of cases
where it's going to be very difficult to draw that boundary as a practical
issue. But we shouldn't give up on trying to design institutions that
can maintain that distinction on the basis of a theoretical puzzlement
about, you know, where that boundary, you know, precisely can be drawn.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Jim, to this?
DR. WILSON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please.
DR. WILSON: I very much agree with Frank's
view. My sense of regulation is that you don't regulate until you have
a concrete problem. Regulation in advance, creating entities designed
to solve large problems, is creating great mischief in the country.
We created the Interstate Commerce Commission allegedly to regulate the
flow of goods across the states — an ambitious title. It worked reasonably
well with respect to railroads, and, in particular, it worked reasonably
well in getting railroads that took people for short distances, not to
charge them more money than other railroads that took people for longer
distances. This is a way of ending cartelization and short haul railroads.
But then, lo and behold, trucking came along. Instead of thinking of trucking
as a problem, we gave it to the ICC, which made a terrible mess of it.
The Federal Communications Commission was started to deal with the problem
of radio, but then television came along, and then cable television came
along. And the FCC made a mess of handling these other things.
The lesson I draw as a narrow gauge, unphilosophical, political scientist
is that society, at least in this country, operates best when it has a
concrete problem to worry about.
Now, the Ritalin example that Frank gave I think is a pretty good example.
Ritalin comes into use, and after some pulling and hauling, people decide
there's some good uses and some bad uses. And they create a kind of regulatory
regime around it, which allows mistakes to be made — this will always
happen — but by and large probably tries to allocate it in the right
But much of what we've talked about this morning, these distant, remote — as Janet Rowley put it out — possibilities for doing X, Y, and Z,
I don't think we can draw any political or regulatory implications from
these statements at all.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Well, could we separate — since
the regulatory question comes after the break, could we bracket that for
the moment and stay — I mean, stay either with the Ritalin example —
and, Gil, do you want to go back to Frank's comment or — please.
PROF. MEILAENDER: If that's okay.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please.
PROF. MEILAENDER: Just, I mean, I think it —
I think you're right, Frank, that there is a sense in which almost any
line drawn is often, in a certain sense, arbitrary — at least in the
sense that it could reasonably be drawn at some other places, and so forth.
But I'd be sorry to think that meant that the theoretical discussion was
unnecessary. I mean, partly just I'd like to keep drawing my salary. But
we want to know why somebody should be drawing a line on this matter in
the first place. Don't we? Even granting that there is going to be a slightly
haphazard quality to where the line comes down, and that one could argue
for different places.
But we want to know why we shouldn't just do as we please in this matter.
And in order to answer that question, it seems to me we are going to have
to — we're going to have to think about the theoretical question. I mean,
so it seems to me it's possible to agree in some considerable measure
with your point, but not think that that means that the theoretical discussion
is, so to speak, beside the point or unnecessary. I mean, both aspects
are going to be necessary.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes. Good. Let me try you, Frank.
And why — let's take the Ritalin example and leave the regulatory question
alone, but just try to think it through. Why should we not allow people
freely or — that makes it into a legal question. What's morally questionable,
or why should we have any doubts about allowing people to use Ritalin
for attention-improving — just for increased attention span, never mind
for tests? Why shouldn't they simply be allowed to use it for non-therapeutic
ends? But — because it makes them more alert.
PROF. FUKUYAMA: Well, now I — you know, by
my previous intervention, I didn't mean to cut off the philosophical discussion,
because I think I absolutely agree it's very important. So I'm glad you're
drawing us back to that.
I mean, in my view, what's problematic about the enhancement use of Ritalin
is that it, you know, challenges certain moral ideas we have about personality
and about character, which is that, you know, we learn, for example, attention
and focus and putting certain things above certain other things as a result
of a, you know, process of education and socialization that allows us
to, you know, over time do things — you know, shape our characters in
ways that we're potentially there at birth, but — you know, but required
a certain kind of moral education.
And, you know, the Ritalin in many cases seems to be a convenient shortcut
or a medical shortcut around that that may produce, you know, something
like the effect, but doesn't have the — you know, the same effect on
character. And, you know, I think it challenges, in a certain way, our
traditional understanding of character.
Now, that then begs the, you know, prior question of, why is that traditional
understanding of character, you know, something that we want to protect?
And, you know, I think that's a worthwhile discussion as well.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please.
DR. WILSON: Frank, how would you distinguish
the use of Ritalin for enhancing one's attentiveness from using a pocket
calculator? I mean, was there a moral significance attached to memorizing
the multiplication tables which has now been set aside, or what's the
difference here between memorizing the multiplication tables or being
more attentive during a test? This is a genuine question.
PROF. FUKUYAMA: Yes. No, I — because I think
that moral character traditionally had to do with the learning of certain
internal habits that, you know, related to, you know, basically being
able to, you know, put long-term goals ahead of short-term goals, you
know, being able to defer immediate gratifications, you know, for the
sake of longer-term things, being able to try to, you know, concentrate
one's energies on certain things, and that these are, you know, kind of
permanently valuable traits if — you know, if they in fact become habits,
you know, that an individual has.
Now, I suppose you could say knowing the multiplication tables and not
having to use a calculator is — you know, is a handy thing, but I do
think that somehow that internal shaping of character, you know, is more
essential to our understanding of what, you know, human goods, you know,
just in themselves are than, you know, being able to calculate things
in your head.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Mike?
DR. GAZZANIGA: Okay. Let's do a case history
here. Leon is chair of this panel. It's beginning to get to him. He's
working the midnight oil to 2:00. He's up at 6:00. The White House is
calling him. He's got this panel that's not agreeing with him. He's working
like crazy to make it all work. This goes on for months.
CHAIRMAN KASS: You could fix that, you know?
DR. GAZZANIGA: It goes on for months, and he
finally calls up Paul and he says, "Paul, I've got this problem."
"Around 2:00 to 4:00, 5:00, every afternoon, I have lassitude. I
just, you know, I just can't concentrate." And Paul says, "You
know, I can fix that. I can fix that. We'll just pop a little Ritalin
in there, and you'll just get through 2:00 to 5:00, and you will be — continue your high level of productivity for these highly moral questions
you're working on."
Would you take it?
CHAIRMAN KASS: I've been to see him.
DR. MCHUGH: I wouldn't prescribe it, but how
CHAIRMAN KASS: I went to somebody else.
DR. MCHUGH: Excuse me, Mike?
DR. GAZZANIGA: What's your take on how many
physicians would say, "Fine, take a little Ritalin"?
DR. MCHUGH: Well, it's turning out over time
that there are some physicians — you can find physicians to do almost
anything, obviously. And so some might well do that and, by the way, then
get Leon addicted to an amphetamine-like drug, and ultimately get him
CHAIRMAN KASS: See, we have to clean this up.
Let's not make it easy for ourselves by introducing the problem of addiction.
Okay? Now, it might very well be that any of these drugs that are powerful
enough to make the kinds of changes that we're talking about — I mean,
any prudent person will say anything that's powerful enough to make that
kind of a change is a dangerous drug. If it's going to mess with your
brain, be careful.
But let's not make it easy for ourself by talking about the secondary
consequences either of addiction, or it's bad for my liver, or something
like that. But to get, really, to the direct point of what the difficulty
with this is.
And I think — let me try it. I'm not sure I can do this very well, although
the draft that the staff prepared has something about this. I'm not sure
I would put it in terms of moral character as much as I would try to put
it in terms of what the issue is. I'm not — not the final judgment. But
the question has something to do with the deep structure of what it means
to be humanly active.
I think one could affect the outcome of certain kinds of performances
and achievements, but they might be less the achievements of the person
that — and this is not so much a moral claim that effort is good for
you, though I would be willing to make that separately. But it's a different
activity if it is not somehow the activity of the embodied and soul delighted
human being trying to be at work and doing the work, if you somehow detach
the end result from the agent.
So that I can see how you might get different achievements but they —
it's not so clear that they would be the achievement of the agent. There's
a certain line I think in the staff presentation where if you doped up
several athletes — and this is not just a competition point, but what
you'd really be praising would be the chemists rather than the agents.
And I know what's coming next, because we're just bags of chemicals and
it's very complicated.
But I think what one is most concerned here about is not just the unfair
advantage that some might have over others, but the tendency to dissociate
and disaggregate the deep structure of human activity, the changing — the relation between effort and activity, the changing of the relation
between satisfaction and the activity that produces the satisfaction,
and the preoccupation with the deed and the achievement separate from
its being the achievement of the human agent at work. It's —
DR. GAZZANIGA: Wait a minute. Come on, that's
a little too heavy. We're talking about just having you awake.
CHAIRMAN KASS: No, no. I understand.
No, I understand. And I think you've put it very nicely, because it seems
to me that some of these kinds of things — that would be a perfect one
— would be not so much an intervention that would produce a certain result,
but would be an intervention that might make me much more fit to be who
I am alertly. Right?
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: But what —
CHAIRMAN KASS: I'd just — I mean, to be is
to be awake. And if I am flagging, then all kinds of human possibilities
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: But what if his problem is
not wakedness but he wants distraction and a bit of a buzz? Isn't this
the same question as, why do we not allow people to take marijuana if
they want to achieve "happiness" that way? I mean, we have decided
as a society that's not a good idea. Is that that different a question?
DR. BLACKBURN: I'd just extend it the other
way. Caffeine and coffee — we all, you know, very frequently use it.
And I think that's a very interesting example because it has parallels
with Ritalin because it, you know, really does have a pharmacological
effect, and it's sort of on the other side.
I think we have the difficulty of a continuum of things to think about,
and Ritalin seems a little more extreme, because, of course, there is
a risk of addiction, and we know there's a risk of caffeine addiction.
But I think apart from road rage nothing has been attributed to — you
know, there aren't really bad social effects necessarily from —
DR. GEORGE: Leon, just on this point? Or is
it — it's Robby.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Robby. Sorry, Robby.
DR. GEORGE: Elizabeth, the parallel with Ritalin
in one respect may be even more exact than you think. A few years ago
there was some study done that was reported in one of the magazines that
comes with so many newspapers — I think it might have been Parade magazine
— that seemed to indicate that coffee and caffeine before taking SAT
tests improved measurably students' performance on tests.
Well, you can imagine what the result of this was. Kids who never drank
coffee were given a cup of coffee before going in to the exam. And, of
course, since the Lord works in not so mysterious ways sometimes his wonders
to perform, the kids all had stomach pain and didn't do so well on —
DR. BLACKBURN: It's the sin tax, right?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Gil? Frank?
PROF. MEILAENDER: Yes. This is relating to this
discussion, but it comes back to a point that Rebecca had raised earlier.
She said, you know, we need to think about what the benefit really is,
and so forth.
And, I mean, we don't want to sound like sort of a moral nanny in some
ways, but —
PROF. SANDEL: It's a little late in the day
to be making —
— that disclaimer, isn't it?
PROF. MEILAENDER: Well, I was making it on your
Sorry. But — and this is by no means a full solution to the problem.
I don't mean it in that way at all. I mean, I don't think it gets us off
the hook for thinking about the therapy enhancement distinction or anything
But if you think about the thing that Michael raised, we would have far
less to fear from these matters if we were better people. And, I mean,
there should be some way to say that without just sounding moralistic.
In other words, if you're going to bed at 2:00 and getting up at 6:00
because you think the bioethical future of the country rests on what you
do, well, then, let's think about that and a virtue like humility, for
If you fear for the future if this Council doesn't accomplish some of
the good — well, let's think about virtues like hope or courage, you
know. And as I said, I don't know how to —
CHAIRMAN KASS: Do they come in a bottle?
PROF. MEILAENDER: Well, no, they don't, in fact.
And we would have less to fear about these questions, or even about Paul,
on one particular occasion, maybe giving you — prescribing the Ritalin
if we were better people in a way. Now, that doesn't solve the problem.
We're not going to become better people just all of a sudden.
But I think in some way it wouldn't be a complete thinking through of
the issue if we didn't take account of that.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Would someone like to join that?
DR. MCHUGH: I'd like to join that and agree
CHAIRMAN KASS: Please.
DR. MCHUGH: And point out that what Michael
has described is what happens quite frequently now in my office. I have
a lot of people coming in and telling me what I should prescribe to them.
They've picked it up on the newspaper or on the ads, and I'm always throwing
it back onto the very things that Gil is talking about.
The similar thing was raised by Rebecca when she says you bring kids in.
At least three times a year I have very distinguished people bring their
what I consider wonderful young son in. They're all Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard
graduates, and the like, and the kid's IQ is 110. You know, he's reverted
towards the mean.
And the fact is that he's six foot tall, he can hit — you know, all net
from the center of the basketball field, handsome as the devil, but they
are so sorry that he's not valedictorian or things of that. And my job
is to give them hope by telling them —
— what a wonderful kid this is. Okay? So that very often I avoid this
process of offering medication by talking to people about the meaning
of what they're doing, how they are doing it, offering them alternative
ways of looking at what they're doing, and some of them are pleased.
I emphasize some because —
— there are quite a few who go and find another doctor to do exactly
what they want done.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Bill?
DR. HURLBUT: So, Gil, do I understand you saying
that what makes an enhancement legitimate is the sort of final goal toward
which it is set within the larger picture of what human existence is for?
What I'm thinking of here is beta blockers, for example, are — they calm
your hands, okay? And people use them for a wide variety of things.
I went to a guitar concert once and then found out that the guitarist
was using beta blockers. And, you know, half the fun of going to a concert
is to see if they can do it in front of an audience.
On the other hand, if my child were in for eye surgery, I wouldn't mind
if the surgeon used beta blockers. So it seems to me that behind this
whole thing — that's why I said this thing about desire earlier. Desire
is — Leon wrote, "Desire, not DNA, is the deepest principle of life."
But if that's true, then our desires have to be — form a very coherent
cosmology that it's — is it once in the service of our individual life
and the benefits of our collective lives?
Because so much of what drives the human psyche underneath is — I don't
know what Mike thinks about theories of unconsciousness, and so forth,
but I — there's an awful lot of discussion now in neuroscience and related
cognitive psychology that a lot of what we desire is driven by things
under the surface that nature has put the surface goal into our mind,
but behind it connected a lot of things.
That's why I brought the issue of contraception, because there's an example
where we feel a desire for one thing but nature brings along a second
thing with it. Well, it's just an example. I don't want to use it for
anything more than that right now, but the point is that that's a major
disconnect in human history — to disconnect a desire from its natural
And so somehow we need — I think behind this whole question is a deep
question of nature, a deep question of the degree to which we know what
is good in nature, and how much we dare to intervene to promote what we
think on the surface is what our lives are about and perhaps then miss
the thing that they're really about.
I said the first day — I promise this is the last time I'll say this,
Leon — but I think we could put ourselves in danger of walking ourselves
right off the stage of the drama of our deepest significance.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Let me make a suggestion. I don't
know that I can digest this conversation either now. Fortunately, we'll
have a transcript. And if we are more efficient this time than we've been
in the past, which means if the people at HHS actually will post what
we give them, within a week or so we will have a transcript so people
can revisit some of these things and think more about it.
I take it that there is encouragement here for at least exploring this
topic down the road. There are risks in how we formulate it. We have to
pick our topics — the subtopics carefully. Let me say for myself, I'm
not sure that the language of enhancement versus therapy is the optimum
way to do this.
It might be better to leave that language alone and to ask ourselves,
really, the question of, what, if any, are the boundaries between the
admirable and the less admirable users of these powers without having
to tie it into some definitional thing of what you mean by an enhancement
And part of what's at stake there I think is — and I'm not sure that
— Bill, that this would be a way that you would — a reformulation of
the point you're making. That would be friendly.
But it does seem to me that thinking about the question of better and
worse uses or admirable or less admirable uses or unadmirable uses or
degrading uses is some kind of notion explicit — tacit if not explicit
— of what it would mean actually to conduce to human flourishing and
our fulfillment, which is not a simple matter and it's not for governmental
commissions to settle. But at least we can be mindful of the fact that
some tacit answer to that question is somehow implied in how one thinks
through what norms are we to use when we're not engaged in the business
of healing or assisting.
So let — Michael, please.
PROF. SANDEL: Could I just add, along these
lines, as I've heard this discussion, I think that however we came at
it there is real enthusiasm for exploring the human and the moral implications
of enhancements or of — or going beyond aiming at perfection.
And if I could just add a small correction. Before when you chastised
those of us who raised the moral questions of allocation for putting that
ahead of the underlying moral questions of enhancement, I didn't hear
any of that. I didn't hear any suggestion that that should somehow substitute
or preempt a discussion of the human consequences and the moral consequences
of aiming at perfection. I thought that had been emphasized by everyone
who spoke, and I hope that we take that up.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes. Thank you. It wasn't a chastisement.
If it came across that way, I didn't — it wasn't meant that way. But
Charles, do you want a word? And then we should stop.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. Just one word and a caution.
I think as we think about this it's important for us to understand how
our discussion will differ from the decades-long debate that the country
has had on recreational drugs, which is a sort of paradigm I think of
this question. So what are we contributing?
I mean, obviously, we'll be looking at other aspects of this. But fundamentally,
I am yet to see how our debate about enhancement and all the issues that
we have raised differ from the debate that people have about whether or
not people ought to be able to use stuff that makes them feel better,
and whether that should be legal or not.
It's an old debate. I'm not sure what's new.
CHAIRMAN KASS: Well, let me say a quick word
on this. I mean, it — the temptation is to go either into euphorian drugs
or cosmetic surgery, and things of that sort, which are — one could have
one's opinions about it, but I take it there are serious people seriously
thinking not about just having — letting people have their jollies, but
actually doing things that might improve what we are constitutionally,
whether it be through computer implants or neuropharmacological interventions,
that would actually not just do things that would make us feel better
but that might actually transfer in some structural way what we're capable
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Well, that's precisely where
I think we ought to focus, because otherwise we would be recreating an
CHAIRMAN KASS: Yes. But that —
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: It should precisely be about
changing human capacities.
PROF. SANDEL: Well, the other difference is
the next generation.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER: Right. In germ line, which
I was advocating that we emphasize. But since other people have been arguing
that it's too long, good term, and perhaps theoretical, I was asking in
that case what — how would our debate differ from the older debate here?
CHAIRMAN KASS: Okay. We could use some help
at headquarters on this topic. I mean, I don't know — I haven't heard
anybody say this is not interesting or not important. The question is
how to do it and to do it well.
And since you have an assignment for something on the other topic due
in two weeks, let's make this optional. But it would be very nice if there
were a subgroup of this — of the members who are especially interested
in this if we could hear from you just by letter of either reflections
on this conversation, suggestions for how to proceed, and we will try
to, in light of that, see where we should go next on this topic and how
to do it fruitfully and usefully.
With the usual kind of lack of clear and coherent structure of such a
preliminary conversation, let's declare this one a success, take a break,
and come back, oh, at 25 of 11:00 for the regulatory discussion.
(Whereupon, the proceedings in the foregoing matter went off the record
at 10:17 a.m. and went back on the record at 10:44 a.m.)