The Corner

Leon Kass’s Latest

I’m looking forward to reading the new report from the Kass council on bioethics. Perhaps it will be more persuasive than Kass’s Washington Post op-ed today, which I guess was meant to promote the report. Actually, I’m not even sure what the op-ed was supposed to persuade me of: that biotechnology has dangers as well as promise? It took him rather a lot of words to get there. The interesting questions about whether and how to draw the line between therapy and enhancement–and who should do the line-drawing–Kass ignores. The implicit criticism of Prozac, as a drug that “gives us happy feelings without the real loves, attachments and achievements that are essential for true human flourishing” is by now familiar in the writing of a certain kind of conservative. Most of the people I know who have taken Prozac say that it does not, in fact, give them happy feelings; it merely allows them to be happy (or even to be sad, rather than depressed). But as I say, maybe the report will be better.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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