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Cleveland State University

Medicine and Health Sciences

Biological alteration

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The Biological Alteration Cases, Sheldon Gelman Jan 1995

The Biological Alteration Cases, Sheldon Gelman

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

State interventions such as drugging dangerous prisoners to “alter the chemical balance in the brain,” sterilizing women involuntarily, or, more modestly, compelling vaccination in order to modify someone's immune system, employ a remarkable and problematic technique. The government biologically alters an individual to suit official policy, tailoring the person's very physical constitution to conform with some public objective. Even when the objective is worthy, such as preventing disease, the technique remains troubling. For in the process of biological alteration, government transforms individuals into instruments of state policy. Focusing on the handful of Supreme Court decisions involving the technique ...