The Ethics of Prenatal Injury

Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (1):1-23 (2020)
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I argue that it is permissible for pregnant women to expose their unborn children to risks and injury. I begin with the premise that abortion is permissible. If so, then just as a pregnant woman may permissibly prevent an unborn child from experiencing any future wellbeing, she also may permissibly provide her child relatively poorer prospects for wellbeing. Therefore, it is permissible for pregnant women to take risks and cause prenatal injury. This argument has revisionary implications for policies that prevent medical research and drug use during pregnancy. It also explains why moralistic criticism of pregnant women is unwarranted.



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Jessica Flanigan
University of Richmond

Citations of this work

Impairing the Impairment Argument.Kyle van Oosterum & Emma J. Curran - 2024 - Journal of Medical Ethics 50 (5):335-339.
Prenatal Injury.Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Res Philosophica.
A reply to Gillham on the impairment principle.Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2024 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 27 (1):31-35.
On the Permissibility of Elective Ectogestation.James J. Cordeiro - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics 23 (5):116-118.

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References found in this work

Hypocrisy, Moral Address, and the Equal Standing of Persons.R. Jay Wallace - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (4):307-341.
Turning the trolley.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (4):359-374.
The suberogatory.Julia Driver - 1992 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (3):286 – 295.

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