The Prohibition on Eugenics and Reproductive Liberty

John Harris criticises the European Parliament’s ‘waft in the direction of human rights and human dignity’ and rejects its suggestion that ‘human cloning violates the principle of equality since “it permits a eugenic and racist selection of the human race”’. He argues that, by parity of reasoning, so too do ‘pre-natal and pre-implantation screening, not to mention egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy, abortion and human preference in choice of partner’. Conflating the techniques mentioned (ie, human cloning, egg donation, etc) with human preference in choice of a partner, he holds that reproductive liberty must be the operative principle in determining what ought to be prohibited by law in the realm of human reproduction. This article challenges his two problematic assumptions.
Keywords Eugenics  Reproductive liberty  Bioethics
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