David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 11 (2) (1990)
In this paper I will discuss three areas in which advances in human reproductive technology could occur, their uses and abuses, and their effects on society. First is the potential to drastically increase the success rate and availability of in vitro fertilization and embryo freezing. Second is the ability to perform biopsies on embryos prior to the onset of pregnancy. Finally, I will consider the adding or altering of genes in embryos, commonly referred to as genetic engineering.As new reproductive technologies pass from experimental models into the potential for medical utilization, I believe that it will be important for lawmakers everywhere to avoid the impulse to outlaw procedures that a society believes to be unnatural at a first glance. Rather, I would hope that they can respond thoughtfully with legislation that serves two purposes — to protect the rights of couples to overcome infertility or to reduce the risk of genetic disease in their children-to-be, and more importantly, to protect children-to-be from the abuses that could result from some of the practices that I will discuss.
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