Genetic Enhancement and Parental Obligation

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2):98-111 (2007)
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Abstract

Among moral philosophers, general disapproval of genetic enhancement has in recent years given way to the view that the permissibility of a eugenic policy depends only on its particular features. Buchanan, Brock, Daniels, and Wikler have extensively defended such a view. However, while these authors go so far as to argue that there are conditions under which parents are not only permitted but also obligated to procure genetic treatments for their intended child, they stop short of arguing that there are conditions under which parents are required to procure enhancements. By contrast, David Heyd argues that parents are required to procure treatments or enhancements for their future child, but only if the intervention would not alter the future child’s personal identity. In this paper I take the case for genetic enhancement a step further by arguing that there are conditions under which parents are morally required to procure genetic interventions for their intended child, regardless of whether the intervention is a treatment or an enhancement, and regardless of whether it would alter the child’s personal identity.

Author's Profile

Larry A. Herzberg
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

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