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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119414 Find in a Library
Title: Biology and the Bill of Rights: Can Science Reframe the Constitution?
Journal: American Journal of Law and Medicine  Volume:13  Issue:2 & 3  Dated:(1987)  Pages:249-289
Author(s): S Jasanoff
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 41
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses constitutional issues that are likely to arise as a result of developments in the biological sciences (new biology) and proposes how these issues might be resolved in light of existing constitutional precedent.
Abstract: Mass biological testing and screening for inherited traits and tests of brain function and intelligence could raise constitutional issues of equal protection, search and seizure, and privacy. Biological developments in the areas of abortion, surrogate parenthood, the determination of paternity and maternity, and the testing of fetuses could trigger privacy and due process concerns. These and other incursions on individual autonomy and freedom by new biological discoveries threaten some of the basic presumptions of our political system. The U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equality and privacy must be preserved. The new biology will call for a renewed focus on such ethical questions as the meaning of personhood and the sanctity of human life. 170 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Medicolegal considerations
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Human research subject protection
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