Failures of Imagination: Disability and the Ethics of Selective Reproduction

Bioethics 29 (8):557-563 (2015)
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Abstract

The article addresses the problem of disability in the context of reproductive decisions based on genetic information. It poses the question of whether selective procreation should be considered as a moral obligation of prospective parents. To answer this question, a number of different ethical approaches to the problem are presented and critically analysed: the utilitarian; Julian Savulescu's principle of procreative beneficence; the rights-based. The main thesis of the article is that these approaches fail to provide any appealing principles on which reproductive decisions should be based. They constitute failures of imagination which may result in counter-intuitive moral judgments about both life with disability and genetic selection. A full appreciation of the ethical significance of recognition in procreative decisions leads to a more nuanced and morally satisfying view than other leading alternatives presented in the article

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
The idea of justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.

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