The Point: Healing vs. Enhancing

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Advances in medical technology have far outpaced our ethical abilities to use them well. That’s why I’m committed to warning about CRISPR gene editing technology, for instance, which can be used to alter the human genome.

Of course, medical advances can also save lives. Case in point: According to WORLD magazine, “Japanese and Australian scientists have developed an artificial womb that could help save extremely premature babies.”

So how do we celebrate the good and resist the bad? It’s not easy to draw ethical lines in medicine, but here’s a reasonable starting point: Embrace technologies that heal but be very wary of those that enhance.

Healing vs. enhancing. The first is part of being created in God’s image—using use our creativity to care for creation, especially other image-bearers.

But when we use technology to enhance humans—to improve humans or even create super humans—we usurp God’s role as creator, and re-imagine ourselves in our own image.


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