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Too good for this world: moral bioenhancement and the ethics of making moral misfits
  1. Katherine Ward
  1. Philosophy, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Katherine Ward, Philosophy, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA; katherine.ward{at}


Persson and Savulescu argue that moral bioenhancement is not only morally permissible; in some cases, it is morally obligatory. In this article, I introduce a new reason to worry about moral enhancement. I adapt the disability concept of misfit to show how moral enhancement could cause extreme moral disempowerment to those enhanced, which would result in moral injury. I argue that any safety framework that guides the development of moral bioenhancement must be sensitive to the problem of moral misfitting. I present the best case for moral bioenhancement before turning to my own worry concerning the development of moral bioenhancement and its practical implications. Finally, I consider a series of objections and responses.

  • Ethics
  • medical ethics/bioethics
  • Philosophy

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  • Contributors KW is the sole author of this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.