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Risk and the Regulation of Uncertainty in International Law$
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Monika Ambrus, Rosemary Rayfuse, and Wouter Werner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795896

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795896.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 June 2021

Imagining Future People in Biomedical Law

Imagining Future People in Biomedical Law

From Technological Utopias to Legal Dystopias within the Regulation of Human Genetic Modification Technologies

(p.117) 7 Imagining Future People in Biomedical Law
Risk and the Regulation of Uncertainty in International Law

Britta van Beers

Oxford University Press

Human genetic engineering and other human enhancement technologies bring about uncertainties and risks on both the physical and the conceptual and intangible levels. Much of the controversy surrounding these emerging technologies is due to the fact that categorical distinctions, such as between person and thing, and chance and choice, are blurred in radical ways. As a consequence, the emergence of biomedical technologies also entails, what could be called, metaphysical risks and symbolic uncertainties. This chapter explores the ways in which imaginings of the future of mankind and mankind itself have found their way into international legal regulation of biomedical technologies through an analysis of recent debates on the international ban on human germline genetic engineering. This prohibition, which is at the heart of international biolaw, is currently being questioned as recent scientific breakthroughs in the field of gene-editing are about to turn human genetic engineering into a reality.

Keywords:   biolaw, human genetic engineering, risk, future of mankind, biomedical technologies, human germline genetic engineering

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