Ethics, Human Oocytes and the Teleology of the Body: An Appreciation of Gilbert Meilaender’s Work

Studies in Christian Ethics 30 (2):133-143 (2017)
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Gilbert Meilaender has been an important contributor to the field of bioethics for decades. His insistence that there is a natural teleology of the body that should constrain ambitions of the will in bioethics deserves careful attention. This article examines the idea of a natural teleology of the body as it applies to human oocytes. It argues that approaching human eggs in terms of their telos rather than their moral status is useful. The article examines how Meilaender deploys the idea of a natural teleology to reject John Robertson’s work on assisted reproduction, particularly his preoccupation with procreative liberty. Finally, the article raises questions about the sharp contrast Meilaender draws between teleology and intentionality.



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