Journal of Medical Ethics 26 (5):400-403 (2000)
AbstractThis paper considers parental duties of beneficence and non-maleficence to use prenatal genetic testing for non-treatable conditions. It is proposed that this can be a duty only if the testing is essential to protect the interests of the child ie only if there is a risk of the child being born to a life worse than non-existence. It is argued here that non-existence can be rationally preferred to a severely impaired life. Uncontrollable pain and a lack of any opportunity to develop a continuous self are considered to be sufficient criteria for such preference. When parents are at risk of having a child whose life would be worse than non-existence, the parents have a duty to use prenatal testing and a duty to terminate an affected pregnancy. Further, such duty does not apply to any conditions where the resulting life can be considered better than non-existence
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Citations of this work
Qualifying Choice: Ethical Reflection on the Scope of Prenatal Screening.Greg Stapleton - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (2):195-205.
Reproductive autonomy or responsible parenthood? Conflicting ethical framings of genetic carrier screening.Peter Wehling, Beatrice Perera & Sabrina Schüssler - 2020 - Ethik in der Medizin 32 (4):313-329.
Duties of the Patient: A Tentative Model Based on Metasynthesis.Mari Kangasniemi, Arja Halkoaho, Helena Länsimies-Antikainen & Anna-Maija Pietilä - 2012 - Nursing Ethics 19 (1):58-67.
References found in this work
Wrongful Life and the Counterfactual Element in Harming.Joel Feinberg - 1986 - Social Philosophy and Policy 4 (1):145.