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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

The biotechnological field of genetic engineering is advancing so rapidly that some scientists predict that within the next decade, technology will be available that will enable people to genetically engineer their offspring. This ability could be used for purposes as diverse as curing a genetic disease or selecting certain "favorable" characteristics for one's progeny.

While there seem to be some potential benefits to such technology, there are specific dangers as well. Throughout the short history of genetic engineering, scientists have found that there are sometimes unanticipated negative effects that arise with genetic manipulation. Because of this fact, some scientists are particularly concerned with the idea of genetically engineering human children. As a result of this concern, it is quite possible that attempts will be made to pass legislation that would limit the ability to genetically engineer human offspring. This Note examines the issue of whether such regulations would be constitutional in light of the United States Supreme Court's current jurisprudence relating to procreative liberty, the right to parental control, and the rights of the children who would be the subjects of the genetic engineering.

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