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THE PARENTAL OBLIGATION TO EXPAND A CHILD'S RANGE OF OPEN FUTURES WHEN MAKING GENETIC TRAIT SELECTIONS FOR THEIR CHILD

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

As parents become increasingly able to make genetic trait selections on behalf of their children, they will need ethical guidance in deciding what genetic traits to select. Dena Davis has argued that parents act unethically if they make selections that constrain their child's range of futures. But some selections may expand the child's range of futures. And other selections may shift the child's range of futures, without either constraining or expanding that range. I contend that not only would parents act unethically if they make selections that constrain the range of their child's futures, they would act unethically if they make selections that shift the range of their child's futures, because selections that shift the range of the child's futures would allow parents to over-determine their child's futures. Thus, I contend that parents would act ethically only if they make selections that expand their child's range of futures.

Keywords: children; futures; genetics; obligation; parents; selection; traits

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8519.2007.00545.x

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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