Island story

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Thereby, the gene pool of the Island nation (who is proudly calling itself the descendants of Vikings) has gained the marketable form. In other words, Island gene pool became the subject of the commercial transaction and it was assessed and was rented for 12 years like the lot of land for agricultural works.

This event was not ordinary, though not so original. There are already such projects in Australia, Great Britain, Singapore, Norway, Sweden and Estonia. Island variant is different from those countries in the discussion of the moral problems of the project.

It is also in some extent special because there are certain genetic advantages – ethnic homogeneity and population’s compactness (the number of refugees is not significant, and the population is approximately 280000), the medical documentation for all Islanders is saved there from 1915; almost every Icelandic family is keeping the genealogies, which are throwing back for several centuries.

But examining this situation, we see the bright demonstration of the strong tendency of the science’ commercialization which paradoxically makes itself known in the genomics and other most technologically developed sectors of the biomedicine. A human transforms into the goods not only the subjects of work or his ability towards the work, but also the part of his individual and collective body. There appear goods of the new type, a new market with its specific relation of demand and supply. Biotechnological companies were practicing for a long time already to patent the genes, nucleotide sequences and human’s stem cells. In case of the Icelandic biogenetic project the gene pool of the whole nation is transformed into peculiar goods.

The commercialization of the human genome is radically transforming the idea of a person about himself. It is no coincidence; the people who are thinking traditionally in Iceland and in other countries as well sharply morally blamed that from their point of view, that this is just outrage upon their human dignity. This is the point of view of many Christian churches and ethical government committees, but in Iceland this point of view is not so popular. So, 9% of population is against the project and 81% support the project.

Icelandic project is one of the first demonstration of the new type of the biopolitics which is qualitively differentiated from the discredited eugenic programs of the first half of 20 century. At that time in the USA, Germany and some other countries on the governmental level there were made up the tasks for saving the nation from the genetic degeneration or even (as like in Germany) the nurturing the new more perfect kind of a human being (Aryan kind) with the help of the method of selection of manufacturers, the method which was borrowed from the livestock breeders’ practice.

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