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Individualist ethical analyses in the enhancement debate have thus far prioritised or only considered the interests and concerns of parents and the future child. The collectivist critique of the human enhancement debate argues that rather than pure individualism, a focus on collectivist, or group-level ethical considerations is needed for balanced ethical analysis of specific enhancement interventions. Here I defend this argument for the insufficiency of pure individualism. However, existing collectivist arguments tend to take a negative approach in analysis that hinders them from adequately contributing to balanced ethical analysis, and often leading to a prohibitive stance. I argue this is due to two common problems with collectivist arguments: inappropriate acceptance of individualist assumptions, and failure to appropriately weigh individual vs collective ethical considerations. To further develop the collectivist critique in the enhancement debate, I suggest we may look to collectivism in public health ethics collectivism, which avoids these problems.


Journal article


Medicine Health Care and Philosophy


Springer (part of Springer Nature)

Publication Date



human enhancement, genome editing, individualism, collectivism, medical ethics