218 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37:2 2017]
genetically modified child to be considered a human person in one state and not in another state.
The regulatory approach would be easier to undertake, for example, through changes to the federal
research regulations,305 but this approach would be insufficient to extend all legal protections for
all genetically enhanced humans, as it would merely apply to some types of research.306
Whichever of the aforementioned approaches becomes feasible in the next decade, it is
important that child law attorneys, science and technology law attorneys, civil rights attorneys,
judges, scientists, scholars, law students, and everyday citizens become educated and aware of the
issues discussed in this Article. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the community of law and
policy professionals to pursue all means available to ensure the protection of those who will
inevitably be born as the first generation of genetically modified humans. This Article is a call of
urgency to those who take their responsibility to society seriously to become engaged, to learn
about the difficult issues, and to actively pursue a solution. As humanist and astronomer Carl Sagan
More often, science is taken to task because it and its products are said to be morally
neutral, ethically ambiguous and readily employed in the service of evil as of
good… Since technology has been with our ancestral line from before the first
human, since we are a technological species, this problem is not so much one of
science as of human nature. By this I don’t mean that science has no responsibility
for the misuse of its findings. It has profound responsibility, and the more powerful
its products the greater its responsibility.307
My purpose with this Article—other than to highlight the dangers facing the first
genetically modified children and present a theory of legal personhood—is to provide a starting
point to those who are unfamiliar with the issues, and to inspire those interested in ensuring the
continued survival of the human species, and the protection of all human persons involved to take
action.308 The technological landscape is changing rapidly and is enabling society to achieve things
which were unimaginable just a few years ago. All of this awesome technological power is
accompanied by significant responsibility, which we must accept with enthusiasm and bravery.
judge.html. Also, such as in the examples mentioned above, this divergence between the states would likely require
a unifying resolution through the Supreme Court.
305 45 C.F.R. § 46, et seq.
306 See supra notes 147, 150.
307 CARL SAGAN, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD, SCIENCE AS A CANDLE IN THE DARK 283 (Ballantine Books 1996).
308 Regarding the importance for legal professionals to become more engaged in issues of scientific and ethical
importance, Maxwell Mehlman mentions the thoughts of Richard Posner: “the regulation of science must be
delegated to lawyers. ‘Policing the intersection between law and science,’ he says ‘is a more natural role for lawyers
than for scientists to play…’ But Posner readily acknowledges that most lawyers are scientifically illiterate, and in
the end, this forces them to rely on the very scientists they are attempting to regulate to supply the necessary
expertise. Posner’s solution is for law schools to require that “a substantial fraction for law students be able to
demonstrate by the time they graduated… a basic competence in college-level math and statistics plus one science
such as physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, medicine, public health or geophysics.’” Mehlman, supra
note 25, at 104 (citing RICHARD A. POSNER, CATASTROPHE: RISK AND RESPONSE 202-208 (2004)). This Author does
not think that such an extreme measure is necessary. All it takes is personal responsibility and drive.