Choosing Tomorrow's Children: The Ethics of Selective Reproduction

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To what extent should parents be allowed to use reproductive technologies to determine the characteristics of their future children? And is there something morally wrong with parents who wish to do this? Choosing Tomorrow's Children Provides answers to these (and related question. In particular, the book looks at issues raised by selective reproduction, the practice of choosing between different possible future persons by selecting or deselecting (for example) embryos, eggs, and sperm.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199273966
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/19/2010
  • Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Wilkinson is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Ethics of Selective Reproduction 1

1.1 Some Cases 1

1.2 What is Selective Reproduction? 2

1.3 Different Possible Future People 4

1.4 Philosophical Bioethics 7

1.5 Some Assumptions 10

1.6 The Moral Status of the Human Embryo 13

1.7 Outline and Structure 15

2 Parental Duties and Virtues 21

2.1 Unconditional love 21

2.2 Actual and Prospective Parents 27

2.3 The Virtue of Parental Acceptance 32

2.4 Diversity 41

2.5 The Child's Right to an Open Future 44

2.6 Summary and Conclusions 55

3 Selecting for Disability and the Welfare of the Child 57

3.1 Disability and Quality of Life 59

3.2 Harm and Wrongful Life 68

3.3 Slavery, Abuse, and Birthrights 77

3.4 The Same Number Quality Claim 90

3.5 Summary and Conclusions 96

4 Choosing One for the Sake of Another 99

4.1 The Cost of Care 100

4.2 Saviour Siblings: The Welfare of the Child 107

4.3 Saviour Siblings: Challenging Some Common Assumptions 114

4.4 Summary and Conclusions 128

5 Treating Children as Commodities 130

5.1 What Is Commodification? 131

5.2 Treating as a (Mere) Means 134

5.3 Fungibility 138

5.4 Summary and Conclusions 147

6 Eugenics and the Expressivist Argument 148

6.1 What Is Eugenics? 149

6.2 The Moral Standing of Eugenics 157

6.3 Is the Very Idea of 'Genetic Improvement' a Mistake? 159

6.4 Social Problems Caused by Reducing the Prevalence of Disease and Disability 166

6.5 The Expressivist Argument 170

6.6 Summary and Conclusions 185

7 Enhancement 186

7.1 What Is Enhancement? 186

7.2 The Moral Status of Enhancement 192

7.3 The Goals of Medicine 194

7.4 Positional Goods 197

7.5 Equality 204

7.6 Summary and Conclusions 208

8 Sex Selection 209

8.1 Bioethical Context 211

8.2 Legal-Regulatory Context in the UK 213

8.3 Family Balancing and Population Sex Imbalance 217

8.4 Family Balancing and Sexism 221

8.5 Sexism as a Fundamental Objection to Sex Selection 227

8.6 Population Sex Imbalance, Subgroups, and Social Context 230

8.7 Pressure and Consent 235

8.8 Sending Out the Wrong Message 239

8.9 Innocuous Means of Sex Selection 243

8.10 Summary and Conclusions 248

Bibliography 251

Index 263

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