SCHB Books for Sale

Cover artwork: The Ethics of the New Eugenics

The Ethics of the New Eugenics

Edited by Calum MacKellar and Christopher Bechtel

Berghahn 2014 - ISBN 978-1-78238-120-4

RRP: £60.00

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“The book is clearly written, easy to follow, well-structured, and well-researched. A lay audience will easily access and understand the debate and realize what is at stake with the new eugenics. Medical procedures and technical concepts are well explained… [Its] importance and relevance cannot be overstated...a must-read in our day and age, especially when biotechnology and the new eugenics can be a threat to all of humanity.” - Johann A. R. Roduit, Institute of Biomedical Ethics, University of Zurich

Strategies or decisions aimed at affecting, in a manner considered to be positive, the genetic heritage of a child in the context of human reproduction are increasingly being accepted in contemporary society. As a result, unnerving similarities between earlier selection ideology so central to the discredited eugenic regimes of the 20th century and those now on offer suggest that a new era of eugenics has dawned. The time is ripe, therefore, for considering and evaluating from an ethical perspective both current and future selection practices. This inter-disciplinary volume blends research from embryology, genetics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and history. In so doing, it constructs a thorough picture of the procedures emerging from today’s reproductive developments, including a rigorous ethical argumentation concerning the possible advantages and risks related to the new eugenics.


Cover artwork: Chimeras Children

Chimeras Children: Ethical, Philosophical and Religious Perspectives on Human-Nonhuman Experimentation

Edited by Calum MacKellar and David Albert Jones

Bloomsbury 2012 - ISBN 9781441198860

RRP: £18.99

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The idea of human-nonhuman combinations has been a recurrent theme throughout the history of humanity. From the myths of the Minotaur and the centaurs in ancient Greece to the dogheads of the Middle Ages right through to the monsters of modern science fiction, these beings have always been a source of fascination. In recent years, however, biomedical advances have demonstrated the potential to make these entities a reality through the creation of inter-species combinations. As a result, pressing and perplexing ethical questions arise.

Introducing the reader to the historical context of human-nonhuman experimentation and potential future developments, this volume offers clarification, analysis and a thorough overview of the ethical challenges relating to human-nonhuman chimeras, true hybrids, cybrids and other combinations.

This book is the first accessible survey of the different ethical dilemmas facing contemporary society in the creation of human-nonhuman embryonic, foetal and postnatal entities. These include important cultural, legal, philosophical and religious perspectives. As such it will act as a springboard for future debate.


Cover artwork: Informing Choice

Informing Choice: New Approaches and Ethics for Sex and Relationships Education in Scotland

Calum MacKellar and Philip Boydel

Scottish Council on Human Bioethics 2004, 88 pp - ISBN 0 95468 300 5

RRP: £12.00

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This is a highly useful resource for anyone interested in sex education, whether or not they are working in Scotland. Within its mere 88 pages of densely packed text, it covers a wide range of topics.

Consisting of two parts, the first summarises the sexual health scene in Scotland and then looks at the biological, psychological and social factors influencing the initiation of teenage sexual activity. The social factors examined include family systems, peer pressure, the media and socio-economics. There then follows a fascinating comparison and contrast of sex education in the Netherlands, USA and Uganda, applying lessons from successes in these countries to future policy in Scotland.

The second half of the book considers the often neglected area of the ethics of sex education, firstly using the well-known ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and best interests and then looking at the effect of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 19 recommendations to the Scottish Executive (the Scottish parliament) conclude the book. I have no doubt that if even half of these were adopted, sexual health in Scotland would be transformed for the better. The recommendations include giving information on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing STIs; giving information on sex within the context of love and relationships; promotion of programmes that encourage young people to have educational goals; promotion of communication between parents and children regarding sex and relationships; promotion of delay and abstinence until a young person is older and more able to make informed decisions.

“It is a real goldmine of useful information with nine pages of references and is well worth ordering. I hope the Scottish Executive have all had copies.”