Getting beyond the welfare of the child in assisted reproduction

Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (6):373-376 (2009)
The welfare of the child is the prevailing principle and concern regarding access to assisted reproduction in Western countries today, and there is a wish to avoid harm to future children. New research fields have developed in order to provide scientific evidence on the welfare of children living with different “types” of parents. Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) seems to be heading in a responsible direction where the care and concern for future children is vital. However, the claim of this article is that the principle of the welfare of the child confuses the ethical framing of ART. Several philosophers in the past have argued that potential people must be regarded as outside the moral domain, and therefore cannot be harmed or benefitted. This message has not reached the policymakers, probably because the welfare of the child principle seems to fit so elegantly with common sense. In this article a different ethical framing of ART is proposed. The author argues that “futile care” and not “the welfare of the child” should be the guiding principle for eventually rejecting access to ART. The desired goal of ART treatment should be understood to be the production of functional families. Assisted reproduction is primarily about us, actual people in an actual society, and how potential children may affect us
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2008.028126
 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: 16,667
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
John Harris (2000). The Welfare of the Child. Health Care Analysis 8 (1):27-34.
Hallvard Lillehammer (2009). Reproduction, Partiality, and the Non-Identity Problem. In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer Verlag 231--248.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

11 ( #219,154 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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