Science and Engineering Ethics 25 (5):1409-1423 (2019)

The bioethical principle of autonomy is problematic regarding the future of the embryo who lacks the ability to self-advocate but will develop this defining human capacity in time. Recent experiments explore the use of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats /Cas9 for germline engineering in the embryo, which alters future generations. The embryo’s inability to express an autonomous decision is an obvious bioethical challenge of germline engineering. The philosopher Joel Feinberg acknowledged that autonomy is developing in children. He advocated that to reserve this future autonomy, parents should be guided to make ethical decisions that provide children with open futures. Here, Feinberg’s 1980 open future theory is extended to the human embryo in the context of CRISPR germline engineering. Although the embryo does not possess the autonomous decision-making capacity at the time of germline engineering, the parental decision to permanently change the unique genetic fabric of the embryo and subsequent generations disregards future autonomy. Therefore, germline engineering in many instances is objectionable considering Feinberg’s open future theory.
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-018-0069-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Germline Gene Editing.Gyngell Christopher, Douglas Thomas & Savulescu Julian - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (4):498-513.
Children, Paternalism and the Development of Autonomy.Amy Mullin - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):413-426.

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Citations of this work BETA

Can Reproductive Genetic Manipulation Save Lives?G. Owen Schaefer - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (3):381-386.
Ethischer Diskurs zu Epigenetik und Genomeditierung: die Gefahr eines (epi-)genetischen Determinismus und naturwissenschaftlich strittiger Grundannahmen.Karla Karoline Sonne Kalinka Alex & Eva C. Winkler - 2021 - In Boris Fehse, Ferdinand Hucho, Sina Bartfeld, Stephan Clemens, Tobias Erb, Heiner Fangerau, Jürgen Hampel, Martin Korte, Lilian Marx-Stölting, Stefan Mundlos, Angela Osterheider, Anja Pichl, Jens Reich, Hannah Schickl, Silke Schicktanz, Jochen Taupitz, Jörn Walter, Eva Winkler & Martin Zenke (eds.), Fünfter Gentechnologiebericht: Sachstand und Perspektiven für Forschung und Anwendung. Baden-Baden, Deutschland.: Nomos. DOI: 10.5771/9783748927242. pp. 299-323.

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