David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 28 (7):335-342 (2014)
Jürgen Habermas has argued against prenatal genetic interventions used to influence traits on the grounds that only biogenetic contingency in the conception of children preserves the conditions that make the presumption of moral equality possible. This argument fails for a number of reasons. The contingency that Habermas points to as the condition of moral equality is an artifact of evolutionary contingency and not inviolable in itself. Moreover, as a precedent for genetic interventions, parents and society already affect children's traits, which is to say there is moral precedent for influencing the traits of descendants. A veil-of-ignorance methodology can also be used to justify prenatal interventions through its method of advance consent and its preservation of the contingency of human identities in a moral sense. In any case, the selection of children's traits does not undermine the prospects of authoring a life since their future remains just as contingent morally as if no trait had been selected. Ironically, the prospect of preserving human beings as they are – to counteract genetic drift – might even require interventions to preserve the ability to author a life in a moral sense. In light of these analyses, Habermas' concerns about prenatal genetic interventions cannot succeed as objections to their practice as a matter of principle; the merits of these interventions must be evaluated individually
|Keywords||prenatal testing sex selection ethics eugenics genetic interventions|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Colin Farrelly (2007). Virtue Ethics and Prenatal Genetic Enhancement. Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1 (1).
Jessica Hammond (2010). Genetic Engineering to Avoid Genetic Neglect: From Chance to Responsibility. Bioethics 24 (4):160-169.
Timothy F. Murphy (2009). Choosing Disabilities and Enhancements in Children: A Choice Too Far? Reproductie Biomedicine Online 2009 (18 sup. 1):43-49.
Michael J. Selgelid (2003). Ethics and Eugenic Enhancement. Poiesis and Praxis 1 (4):239-261.
R. Tonkens (2011). Parental Wisdom, Empirical Blindness, and Normative Evaluation of Prenatal Genetic Enhancement. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (3):274-295.
Elisabeth Hildt (2002). Autonomy and Freedom of Choice in Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (1):65-72.
Zoltan Papp (1989). Genetic Counseling and Termination of Pregnancy in Hungary. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):323-333.
Rosamund Scott (2007). Choosing Between Possible Lives: Law and Ethics of Prenatal and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. Hart.
Colin Farrelly (2004). Genes and Equality. Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (6):587-592.
Colin Farrelly (2004). The Genetic Difference Principle. American Journal of Bioethics 4 (2):21 – 28.
Alicia R. Ouellette, Insult to Injury: A Disability-Sensitive Response to Professor Smolensky's Call for Parental Tort Liability for Preimplantation Genetic Interventions.
Robert J. Boyle & Julian Savulescu (2003). Prenatal Diagnosis for "Minor" Genetic Abnormalities is Ethical. American Journal of Bioethics 3 (1):60-65.
Timothy F. Murphy (2010). The Ethics of Impossible and Possible Changes to Human Nature. Bioethics 26 (4):191-197.
Rebecca Bennett (2001). Antenatal Genetic Testing and the Right to Remain in Ignorance. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (5):461-471.
Added to index2012-10-02
Total downloads9 ( #159,935 of 1,102,989 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #120,763 of 1,102,989 )
How can I increase my downloads?