In Defense of Prenatal Genetic Interventions

Bioethics 28 (7):335-342 (2014)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,750
External links
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 (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.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-10-02

Total downloads

8 ( #168,505 of 1,098,889 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #174,745 of 1,098,889 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.