In Need of Biotech Laws

We’ve already seen with computer technology the kinds of misguided laws that can come about when laws about a new technology are created on an as-it-comes-up basis and often with regards to extreme cases. Biotechnology and genetical engineering are heading the same way and again the legal system doesn’t really seem to be keeping up; I’m guessing in five to ten years time the Supreme Court will be sorting these issues out as well. There’s what looks like it might actually be an interesting program on PBS tonight on how far biotechnology has come and what legal questions are already pending: Bloodlines: Technology Hits Home. The associated website has some good stuff on it, including the observation that right now, these issues are largely governed at the state level (and as theoretically appealing as I find that, I think we’re clearly going to need some federal guidelines here as well). I also have a more-than-idle curiosity about whether these questions will become derailed by a fetal-rights, anti-abortion agenda.

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