Article Text

other Versions

Does the biomedical revolution spell the end of sport
  1. Arthur L Caplan (caplan{at}
  1. University of Pennsylvania, United States


    Synthetic steroids are dangerous. Human growth hormone in large amounts can be too. There is a real need to protect children who admire athletes from taking serious risks with their health in imitating what their idols do. But, what if biomedical science could put the safety issue aside? Someday, probably soon, there will be drugs that do what steroids do without any real risk of harm to the user. Forms of gene therapy are also be developed that will let us safetly tweak ourselves and our offspring to perform athletic feats that are ‘swifter, higher and stronger’ than ever before seen. Would the world still want the interventions banned? Would doctors who offered such techniques be acting immorally?

    Statistics from

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.