Insult to injury: A disability-sensitive response to professor Smolensky's call for parental tort liability for preimplantation genetic interventions
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In her article Creating Children with Disabilities: Parental Tort Liability for Preimplantation Genetic Interventions, Professor Kirsten Rabe Smolensky argues that children who were subject to preimplantation genetic manipulation should have the ability to sue their parents for damages when the parents "directly intervene in the child's DNA and consequently cause that child to suffer a disability which limits the child's right to an open future." This paper addresses the implications for people with disabilities of that argument. Specifically, it argues that limiting damages to cases in which a child is born with a disability unnecessarily and inaccurately devalues life with disability and leaves unprotected children whose DNA is shaped for traits other than disability at the request of their parents. It then suggests a disability-sensitive approach for delineating cognizable injury under which genetic modifications for disability are treated like other genetic modifications that shape a future child for cultural, aesthetic, or social reasons.
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