Science in Christian Perspective


Opinion Poll Questionnaire on Medical Ethics in Genetic Therapy and Engineering
Jerry Albert, 
5202 Cobb Place, 
San Diego, California 92117


From: JASA 26 (June 1974): 88.

Rate your answers to the following questions by number: 4 = always or most definitely, 3 = usually, 2 = occasionally, 1 = rarely, 0 never.

1. Should we continue present medical practice and extend help to everyone who desires it, regardless of the pollution of the human gene pool and resulting decrease in the quality of physical human life?

2. Should man attempt to control his own evolution, consciously and scientifically, instead of involuntarily by pressures from social mores, wars, etc.
In order to counteract the deterioration of our genetic heritage and correct present defects: 
a. Should we pursue the development of eliminative eugenics
 3. by altering psychic or mental defects, such as violent or criminal behavior, with the use of drugs or brain surgery?
 4. by eliminating physical defects with organ transplants, artificial organs, or organs clonically grown from the same   individual?
b. 5. Should we use genetic manipulation or therapy with viral agents, thoroughly tested and approved for use in humans, to supply missing or correct defective genes?
6. Should we avoid future defects by promoting genetic counselling of parents and prospective parents, advising them of the risks (based on amniocentesis and biochemical tests for genetic disorders) of genetic disease or defects in their potential children and allowing them to decide for or against abortion of their fetuses?
7. Would you seek or believe in a legal abortion if there were 1 chance in 2 that your baby would be seriously abnormal?
8. Should a convicted criminal having chromosome abnormalities linked with aggresive and antisocial behavior be subject to the same degree of capital punishment as one without such chromosome abnormalities?
9. Shall we legislate to eliminate defective genes by prohibiting their carriers to propagate?__---.
10. Should we regard termination of pregnancies in the severely mentally retarded or in women carrying fetuses having fatal and costly genetic diseases as moral, as well as legal?
11. Do you feel that a doctor should have the right to refuse to perform a legal abortion under any circumstances and regardless of the situation iand needs of the patient?
12.When should a fertilized egg have its rights to life as a human being?
__ the moment of conception at three-month gestation__ at 41/2 months when life is detectable__ when life outside the uterine environment is possible (after 65 months)__
13. Should we allow the use of egg and sperm banks for artificial insemination with selection of characteristics of donors for potential children (genetic euphenics)?
14. Is adultery committed in artificial insemination of the egg of a wife with sperm from a nameless donor under the consent of the husband?
15. Should artificial insemination be allowed in unmarried women who want to have children?
16. Is it ethical to choose the desired sex or characteristics for a child from 3 or more fertilized eggs and then implant that chosen one in the wife's uterus while destroying the others?
17, Is it moral for an unmarried woman to be implanted with the fertilized egg of a married couple unable to bear children and then carry their fetus to term, bearing this child for the married cou
ple's family?
18. Is it ethical to develop human life outside of the uterine environment (test tube babies)?
19. What is your marital status? single married separated divorced widowed engaged
20. How many children do you have, including adopted? none one two three or more 21. What is your age? 18-29 30 to 49 -- 50 or over
No personal identification need he given. This questionnaire is for polling purposes only to gain an idea of how readers feel about the ethics and legalities of genetic therapy and engineering. Thank you for your honest opinions and cooperation.

Feel free to send either this page, a reproduction of this page, or simply the question numbers and your answers to the author. A reasonably representative response will result in publication of the results in a future issue of the journal ASA.