Genetic therapy, identity and the person-regarding reasons

Bioethics 9 (1):16–31 (1995)
Abstract
It has been argued that there can be no person‐regarding reasons for practising genetic therapy, since it affects identity and causes to exist an individual who would not otherwise have existed. And there can be no such reasons for causing somebody to exist because existing cannot be better for an individual than never existing. In the present paper, both of these claims are denied. It is contended, first, that in practically all significant cases genetic therapy will not affect the identity of beings of our kind. This is so irrespective of whether, essentially, we are beings with minds or beings of a certain biological species, the human one. Second, it is contended that, even if genetic therapy were to affect our identity, there could be person‐regarding reasons for conducting it, for existence can be better than non‐existence for the individual
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