Sports Council on Genetic Enhancement

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Task Force: Sports Council on Genetic Enhancement


You have been hired to join a sports council on genetic enhancement. Your objective is to outline a plan for when athletes should be (if ever) allowed to have genetic enhancements done. 

 Why Are We Doing This?

Genetic enhancement is defined as, “… the introduction the changes into a genome or epigenome intended to modify and improve nonpathological human traits.” There is widespread controversy about when athletes should have the option to have genetic enhancements done. Here we ask you to make a decision about when and what kinds of genetic enhancements should be allowed for athletes. 


  1. Before you begin, research information about genetic enhancements.
    1. Consider what kinds of genetic enhancements are available and when they might be fair/unfair. 
  2. Then, try to come up with a plan for when you believe athletes should be allowed to have genetic enhancements.
    1. What kinds of genetic enhancement should be allowed?
    2. What types of genetic enhancements should not be allowed?
    3. How will athletes of lower socioeconomic levels be impacted?
    4. Should athletes be allowed to participate in the Olympics if they have had genetic enhancements done? Why or why not?
  3. Think through the possible objections about your decisions that someone might have.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them to adopt your plan for genetic enhancement of athletes.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •  You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of guidelines for your plan. Choose a few that you are prepared to defend.
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