On Our Obligation to Select the Best Children: A Reply to Savulescu

Author: de Melo-Martín, Inmaculada

Source: Bioethics, Volume 18, Number 1, February 2004 , pp. 72-83(12)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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The purpose of this paper is to examine critically Julian Savulescu's claim that people should select, of the possible children they could have, the one who is expected to have the best life, or at least as good a life as the others, based on the relevant, available genetic information, including information about non-disease genes. I argue here that in defending this moral obligation, Savulescu has neglected several important issues such as access to selection technologies, disproportionate burdens on women, difficulties in determining what is best, problems with aggregate effects of individual choices, and questions about social justice. Taking these matters into account would call such a moral requirement into serious question.

Document Type: Discussion

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8519.2004.00379.x

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy St. Mary's University San Antonio USA

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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