San Diego Law Review


Arti K. Rai

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Much of the existing literature on genetic intervention addresses questions of discrimination or reproductive decisionmaking. Although this book discusses those questions,

it takes as its major focus an issue that is perhaps even more vexing—the issue of how we should, from the standpoint of distributive justice, allocate genetic interventions. In other words, given the wide range of genetic interventions that may become available, how should we divide such interventions? Implicit in this problem is the reality that scarcity will prevent individuals from having access to all genetic interventions that would be of benefit to them. In this brief Essay, I take issue with some of the proposals that the authors put forward in chapters 3 and 4, specifically their argument that distributing genetic interventions—and, more generally, health care —in a manner that restores individuals to normal, or “species typical,” functioning will preserve equality of opportunity and hence respond adequately to our distributive justice dilemmas.