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June 5, 1972

Genetic Engineering: Reprise

JAMA. 1972;220(10):1356-1357. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200100068015

We commend to the especial attention of our readers an article by Paul Ramsey, PhD, on some of the ethical considerations in artificial reproduction of the human species, or broadly speaking, genetic engineering. In part 1 of this article (p 1346) Doctor Ramsey considers the medical ethics of in vitro fertilization or, as popular parlance has it, the "test tube baby." (This latter term is, however, not strictly correct as will be noted below.) In part 2 of the article, which will appear next week, Doctor Ramsey answers objections which might be raised to his statements and also develops some of the implications for genetic engineering in current embryologic research.

Before examining some of the issues, it is perhaps important to define some of the terms and procedures which are subsumed under the broad umbrella of "genetic engineering," but which are frequently confused, as well as noting the "state of