In partnership with the Hillsdale College Kirby Center, Faith & Law will host a pizza dinner and viewing of the movie Gattaca. Following the film, Elaine Petty, associate faculty for the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University, will lead a discussion of the bioethics issues portrayed and how to think about these from a biblical point of view.
Current biotechnology is giving us new and exciting opportunities to eliminate disease, disorders, and defects in our lives as human beings. The assisted reproductive technologies and gene editing even promise us the ability to design our own children! But how do we make good ethical and biblical decisions in using this new power? What are some of the ethical issues at stake? Can we engineer better people? What does it mean to be a better person?
The movie Gattaca presents a vision of a world where these eugenic possibilities are real. Everybody lives longer, looks better and is healthier in the Gattacan world. The main character, Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a genetically inferior "in-valid." He decides to fight his fate by purchasing the genes of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a laboratory-engineered "valid." He assumes Jerome's DNA identity and joins the Gattaca space program, where he falls in love with Irene (Uma Thurman). An investigation into the death of a Gattaca officer (Gore Vidal) complicates Vincent's plans. In a creative and riveting plot, the film explores the idea of genetic destiny, portrays genetic discrimination and reveals a vastly unequal future based on human genetics technologies.