Procreative beneficence

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Procreative beneficence is the controversial[1] putative moral obligation of parents in a position to select their children, for instance through preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), to favor those expected to have the best life.[2] An argument in favor of this principle is that traits (such as empathy, memory, etc.) are "all-purpose means" in the sense of being instrumental in realizing whatever life plans the child may come to have.[3]

The term was coined by Julian Savulescu, a professor of applied ethics at St Cross College in Oxford.

Reception[edit]

Robert Sparrow wrote, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, that Savulescu's justification for the principle of procreative beneficence can and should be extended further. If parents have a moral obligation to create children likely to have the best possible life, they should prefer to have children that have been genetically engineered for an optimal chance at such a life, even if those children bear little or no genetic relation to them.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ de Melo-Martin I (2004). "On our obligation to select the best children: a reply to Savulescu". Bioethics 18 (1): 72–83. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2004.00379.x. PMID 15168699. 
  2. ^ Savulescu J (October 2001). "Procreative beneficence: why we should select the best children". Bioethics 15 (5-6): 413–26. doi:10.1111/1467-8519.00251. PMID 12058767. 
  3. ^ Hens, K.; Dondorp, W.; Handyside, A. H.; Harper, J.; Newson, A. J.; Pennings, G.; Rehmann-Sutter, C.; De Wert, G. (2013). "Dynamics and ethics of comprehensive preimplantation genetic testing: A review of the challenges". Human Reproduction Update 19 (4): 366. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmt009. 
  4. ^ Sparrow, Robert (April 4, 2013). "In vitro eugenics". Journal of Medical Ethics. doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-101200. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 

Further reading[edit]