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Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness Paperback – December 2, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (December 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060734906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060734909
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leon R. Kass, M.D., P.h.D., is chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. Also the author of Toward a More Natural Science: Biology and Human Affairs, The Ethics of Human Cloning (with James Q. Wilson), and Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics, he lives with his wife, Amy Apfel Kass, in TK.

Customer Reviews

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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a through and comprehensive study of the issues, more than 300 pages with ample references. The report is organized into sections covering the following topics: Biotechnology and the pursuit of happiness; Better children; Superior performance; Ageless bodies; Happy souls; General reflections. The text was carefully prepared, various viewpoints on each issue are brought in, and the writing is very clear.
The membership of the Council that prepared this report is outstanding. It is one of the best ever assembled to study a scientific policy issue. Thirteen of the seventeen members hold named professorships at leading universities. Their expertise covers the full range of relevant fields, from basic biology through clinical medicine to philosophy, religion and law.
The volume is very timely, given widespread concern over the reappearance of eugenics in recent years. All who are interested in the impact of biotechnology on human life should read this volume.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This work goes well beyond the framework of a President's Commission Report to be an informative and challenging inquiry into the current state of biotechnological research , and its philosophical implications. It considers in separate chapters the work that is being done to increase human performance- level in sport, to as it were `produce better children', to prolong and increase the quality of human life, and to bring us closer to ` human happiness'. The tone of this work is measured and responsible, the information presented that which has been weighed and tested. Above all in considering each of these areas the debate is carried on with a broad- minded and deep consideration of the meaning of what it is to be human. Thus there is neither the ` gung-ho' utopianism of certain kinds of over- optimistic futurists, nor the paralyzing pessimism of various over- protectors of their own narrow conceptions of the human past. In each of the areas a balanced discussion provides the reader, not with definite and final answers to the problems and possibilities raised, but with suggestions for thought.
We have long since learned that scientific and technological advances usually have their ` price' in one way or another. Here trade-offs in the various areas are made explicit. The new technology which enables us to decide upon the sex of the child has already let to tremendous imbalances in among other areas, the populations of China and India. The prolonging of life is in many cases the prolonging of what seems to be senseless suffering. The ability to enhance moods through chemical means raises the question of what happiness means when it is devoid of the context of human relationship.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By born into this on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I can do no better than quote Carl Elliott writing in Slate:

"As much as it pains me to admit that anything worthwhile could come from a council appointed by the Bush administration, Beyond Therapy is a remarkable document: gracefully written, thoroughly researched, ideologically balanced, and philosophically astute. It will be a benchmark for all future work on the topic."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gauthier on April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is one more step down the slippery slope toward a eugenics goal of a master race or super human. Drugging children who still have developing brains is good for big Pharma and Psychiatry but not so good for mankind. Just because we can do it - like detonate an atomic bomb - doesn't mean we should do it. Unfortunately, most Americans are already too drugged out and weakened mentally and morally to recognize the threat posed by doctors-for-hire like the author of this book who work under a deep cover of trust. The hole in the ozone won't kill us, but guys like him will.
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Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness
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