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Towards the Transhuman Athlete: Therapy, Non-therapy and Enhancement

This essay examines the future of sport by considering how medical and ethical distinctions between therapy, non-therapy and enhancement affect the likely use of human enhancements. It considers whether one can easily distinguish among these categories and investigates the legitimacy of such distinctions with respect to medical intervention. It argues that the ambiguity of medical concepts deems that an ethical distinction is even more difficult to justify, particularly where this involves prohibiting athletic enhancements. The essay characterizes the athlete’s pursuit of performance-enhancing technology as a legitimate biocultural health entitlement. This argument requires that athletes be given some limited entitlement to utilize such technology for the purpose of competition. Moreover, it rejects the claim that the non-modified athlete has been harmed due to their being marginalized from sport due to their conscientious objection to enhancements. To this end, sports should be understood as practices of technological negotiation, where new innovation supersedes old, including that of biology. Adapted from the source document.