David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Hastings Center Report 24 (6):15-21 (1994)
Is it wrong to bring children who will have serious diseases and disabilities into the world? In particular, is it unfair to them ? The notion that existence itself can be an injury is the basis for a recent new tort known as "wrongful life" (Steinbock, 1986). This paper considers Feinberg's theory of harm as the basis for a claim of wrongful life, and concludes that rarely can the stringent conditions imposed by his analysis be met. Another basis for maintaining that it is morally wrong to have children under extremely adverse conditions is suggested: a principle of parental responsibility. We also argue that having children under such conditions may be unfair to the children, even if they have not been (in Feinberg's sense) harmed. Finally, we consider when conditions are sufficiently awful that having children might be viewed as incompatible with being a good parent and unfair to the child.
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Citations of this work BETA
John Davis (2008). Selecting Potential Children and Unconditional Parental Love. Bioethics 22 (5):258–268.
Dominic James Wilkinson (2011). A Life Worth Giving? The Threshold for Permissible Withdrawal of Life Support From Disabled Newborn Infants. American Journal of Bioethics 11 (2):20 - 32.
Sarah Chan & Muireann Quigley (2007). Frozen Embryos, Genetic Information and Reproductive Rights. Bioethics 21 (8):439–448.
Julian Savulescu, Melanie Hemsley & Ainsley Newson Andbennett Foddy (2006). Behavioural Genetics: Why Eugenic Selection is Preferable to Enhancement. Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2):157–171.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín (2006). Furthering Injustices Against Women: Genetic Information, Moral Obligations, and Gender. Bioethics 20 (6):301–307.
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