Reproductive autonomous choice – A cherished illusion? Reproductive autonomy examined in the context of preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Abstract

Enhancement of autonomous choice may be considered as an important reason for facilitating the use of genetic tests such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The principle of respect for autonomy is a crucial component not only of Western liberal traditions but also of Western bioethics. This is especially so in bioethical discussions and analyses of clinical encounters within medicine. On the basis of an analysis of qualitative research interviews performed with British, Italian and Swedish geneticists and gynaecologists on ethical aspects of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, the plausibility of the notion of autonomy within reproductive medicine is discussed. The analysis of interviews indicates not only that there is a gap between theoretical discussions and concrete practice, but also that an increase in choice — paradoxically — can hamper couples' choice

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