Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (6):421-440 (2014)

Melissa Moschella
Catholic University of America
The dominant philosophical view of gamete donation as morally permissible rests on two premises: parental obligations are triggered primarily by playing a causal role in procreation, not by genetic ties, and those obligations are transferable—that is, they are obligations to make adequate provision for the child’s needs, not necessarily to raise the child oneself. Thus while gamete donors are indeed agent causes of the children that their donation helps to bring into existence, most think that donors’ obligations are discharged insofar as they know that competent others intend to care for those children. In this article, I call into question this dominant view by challenging both of its premises. Challenging the first premise, I argue that genetic parenthood is what primarily triggers parental obligations. Challenging the second premise, I claim that those obligations are non-transferable—i.e., that they are obligations not simply to ensure that someone will raise one’s genetic child, but to raise that child oneself . The implication of my argument is that gamete donation is inherently wrong insofar as it involves acquiring non-transferable obligations that one has no intention of fulfilling
Keywords Reproductive technologies  Parental obligations  Gamete donation  In vitro fertilization  Artificial insemination  Children’s rights  Animalism  Special obligations
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-014-9314-4
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
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The Right to Parent One's Biological Baby.Anca Gheaus - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (4):432-455.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ectogestation and the Problem of Abortion.Christopher M. Stratman - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):683-700.
Parenthood and Procreation.Tim Bayne & Avery Kolers - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Biological Ties and Biological Accounts of Moral Status.Jake Monaghan - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (3):355-377.

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