Authors
Gregory Radick
University of Leeds
Abstract
Pre-natal genetic tests prompt questions about when, if ever, it is legitimate to choose against a potential life. Philip Kitcher has argued that test-based decisions should turn not on whether a potential life would have a disease (understood as dysfunction), but whether that life would be of low quality. I draw attention to difficulties with both parts of this argument, showing, first, that Kitcher ignores distinctions upon which the case for disease as dysfunction depends; and, second, that his analysis of quality of life tacitly, and controversially, links high quality to normal functioning. Kitcher's chief complaint about disease considerations-that they inappropriately privilege the functional goals of the body over the personal goals of the individual-turns out to bear much more directly upon quality-of-life considerations than disease considerations.
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DOI 10.1016/S1369-8486(01)00031-0
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References found in this work BETA

Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
On the Distinction Between Disease and Illness.Christopher Boorse - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (1):49-68.
A Rebuttal on Health.Christopher Boorse - 1997 - In James M. Humber & Robert F. Almeder (eds.), What is Disease? Humana Press. pp. 1--134.
Disease.Rachel Cooper - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (2):263-282.
Function and Design.Philip Kitcher - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):379-397.

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The Human Genome Project.Lisa Gannett - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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