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Joona Räsänen
University of Turku
  1. Should vegans have children? Examining the links between animal ethics and antinatalism.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (2):141-151.
    Ethical vegans and vegetarians believe that it is seriously immoral to bring into existence animals whose lives would be miserable. In this paper, I will discuss whether such a belief also leads to the conclusion that it is seriously immoral to bring human beings into existence. I will argue that vegans should abstain from having children since they believe that unnecessary suffering should be avoided. After all, humans will suffer in life, and having children is not necessary for a good (...)
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  2. Moral Case for Legal Age Change.Joona Räsänen - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (7):461-464.
    Should a person who feels his legal age does not correspond with his experienced age be allowed to change his legal age? In this paper, I argue that in some cases people should be allowed to change their legal age. Such cases would be when: 1) the person genuinely feels his age differs significantly from his chronological age and 2) the person’s biological age is recognized to be significantly different from his chronological age and 3) age change would likely prevent, (...)
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  3. Ectogenesis, abortion and a right to the death of the fetus.Joona Räsänen - 2017 - Bioethics 31 (9):697-702.
    Many people believe that the abortion debate will end when at some point in the future it will be possible for fetuses to develop outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, would make possible to reconcile pro-life and pro-choice positions. That is because it is commonly believed that there is no right to the death of the fetus if it can be detached alive and gestated in an artificial womb. Recently Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis defended this position, (...)
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  4. Regulating abortion after ectogestation.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (6):419-422.
    A few decades from now, it might become possible to gestate fetuses in artificial wombs. Ectogestation as this is called, raises major legal and ethical issues, especially for abortion rights. In countries allowing abortion, regulation often revolves around the viability threshold—the point in fetal development after which the fetus can survive outside the womb. How should viability be understood—and abortion thus regulated—after ectogestation? Should we ban, allow or require the use of artificial wombs as an alternative to standard abortions? Drawing (...)
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  5. Sexual loneliness: A neglected public health problem?Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Bioethics 37 (2):101-102.
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  6. Egalitarianism, moral status and abortion: a reply to Miller.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (10):717-718.
    Calum Miller recently argued that a commitment to a very modest form of egalitarianism—equality between non-disabled human adults—implies fetal personhood. Miller claims that the most plausible basis for human equality is in being human—an attribute which fetuses have—therefore, abortion is likely to be morally wrong. In this paper, I offer a plausible defence for the view that equality between non-disabled human adults does not imply fetal personhood. I also offer a challenge for Miller’s view.
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  7. Against the impairment argument: A reply to Hendricks.Joona Räsänen - 2020 - Bioethics 34 (8):862–864.
    In an article of this journal, Perry Hendricks makes a novel argument for the immorality of abortion. According to his impairment argument, abortion is immoral because: (a) it is wrong to impair a fetus to the nth degree, such as causing the fetus to have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS); (b) it is wrong to impair a fetus to the n+1 degree (to cause the fetus to be more impaired than to have FAS); (c) killing the fetus impairs the fetus to (...)
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  8. Twin pregnancy, fetal reduction and the 'all or nothing problem’.Joona Räsänen - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (2):101-105.
    Fetal reduction is the practice of reducing the number of fetuses in a multiple pregnancy, such as quadruplets, to a twin or singleton pregnancy. Use of assisted reproductive technologies increases the likelihood of multiple pregnancies, and many fetal reductions are done after in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer, either because of social or health-related reasons. In this paper, I apply Joe Horton’s all or nothing problem to the ethics of fetal reduction in the case of a twin pregnancy. I argue (...)
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  9. Why pro‐life arguments still are not convincing: A reply to my critics.Joona Räsänen - 2018 - Bioethics 32 (9):628-633.
    I argued in ‘Pro‐life arguments against infanticide and why they are not convincing’ that arguments presented by pro‐life philosophers are mistaken and cannot show infanticide to be immoral. Several scholars have offered responses to my arguments. In this paper, I reply to my critics: Daniel Rodger, Bruce P. Blackshaw and Clinton Wilcox. I also reply to Christopher Kaczor. I argue that pro‐life arguments still are not convincing.
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  10. Pro‐Life Arguments Against Infanticide and Why they are Not Convincing.Joona Räsänen - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (9):656-662.
    Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva's controversial article ‘After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?’ has received a lot of criticism since its publishing. Part of the recent criticism has been made by pro-life philosopher Christopher Kaczor, who argues against infanticide in his updated book ‘Ethics of Abortion’. Kaczor makes four arguments to show where Giubilini and Minerva's argument for permitting infanticide goes wrong. In this article I argue that Kaczor's arguments, and some similar arguments presented by other philosophers, are mistaken (...)
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  11. The complex case of Ellie Anderson.Joona Räsänen & Anna Smajdor - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (4):217-221.
    Ellie Anderson had always known that she wanted to have children. Her mother, Louise, was aware of this wish. Ellie was designated male at birth, but according to news sources, identified as a girl from the age of three. She was hoping to undergo gender reassignment surgery at 18, but died unexpectedly at only 16, leaving Louise grappling not only with the grief of losing her daughter, but with a complex legal problem. Ellie had had her sperm frozen before starting (...)
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  12. Epigenetics, Harm, and Identity.Joona Räsänen & Anna Smajdor - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (9):40-42.
    Robert Sparrow argues that genome editing is unlikely to be person-affecting for the foreseeable future and, as a result, will neither benefit nor harm edited individuals. We regard Sparrow’...
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  13. The ethics of ectogenesis.Joona Räsänen & Anna Smajdor - 2020 - Bioethics 34 (4):328-330.
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  14. Age and ageing: What do they mean?Joona Räsänen - 2021 - Ratio 34 (1):33-43.
    This article provides a philosophical overview of different approaches to age and ageing. It is often assumed that our age is determined by the amount of time we have been alive. Here, I challenge this belief. I argue that there are at least three plausible, yet unsatisfactory, accounts to age and ageing: the chronological account, the biological account, and the experiential account. I show that all of them fall short of fully determining what it means to age. Addressing these problems, (...)
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  15. Introduction: controversial arguments in bioethics.Joona Räsänen, Matti Häyry & Tuija Takala - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (2):109-112.
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  16. Liberal utilitarianism – yes, but for whom?Joona Räsänen - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (2):368-375.
    The aim of this commentary is to critically examine Matti Häyry’s article ‘Just Better Utilitarianism’, where he argues that liberal utilitarianism can offer a basis for moral and political choices in bioethics and thus could be helpful in decision-making. This commentary, while generally sympathetic to Häyry’s perspective, argues that Häyry should expand on who belongs to our moral community because, to solve practical ethical issues, we need to determine who (and what) deserves our moral consideration. Challenging Häyry’s principle of actual (...)
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  17. Is pregnancy a disease? A normative approach.Anna Smajdor & Joona Räsänen - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    In this paper, we identify some key features of what makes something a disease, and consider whether these apply to pregnancy. We argue that there are some compelling grounds for regarding pregnancy as a disease. Like a disease, pregnancy affects the health of the pregnant person, causing a range of symptoms from discomfort to death. Like a disease, pregnancy can be treated medically. Like a disease, pregnancy is caused by a pathogen, an external organism invading the host’s body. Like a (...)
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  18. Schrödinger’s Fetus.Joona Räsänen - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (1):125-130.
    This paper defends and develops Elizabeth Harman’s Actual Future Principle with a concept called Schrödinger’s Fetus. I argue that all early fetuses are Schrödinger’s Fetuses: those early fetuses that survive and become conscious beings have full moral status already as early fetuses, but those fetuses that die as early fetuses lack moral status. With Schrödinger’s Fetus, it becomes possible to accept two widely held but contradictory intuitions to be true, and to avoid certain reductiones ad absurdum that pro-life and pro-choice (...)
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  19. Does overruling Roe discriminate against women (of colour)?Joona Räsänen, Claire Gothreau & Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (12):952-956.
    On 24 July 2022, the landmark decision Roe v. Wade (1973), that secured a right to abortion for decades, was overruled by the US Supreme Court. The Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation severely restricts access to legal abortion care in the USA, since it will give the states the power to ban abortion. It has been claimed that overruling Roe will have disproportionate impacts on women of color and that restricting access to abortion contributes to or (...)
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  20. The Role of Philosophers in Bioethics.Joona Räsänen & Matti Häyry - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (12):58-60.
    Blumenthal-Barby et al. (2022) present a nuanced and convincing case for the continued presence of moral and political philosophers in bioethics. We agree with the authors that philosophers should have a role in bioethical inquiry. However, we partly disagree on what that role should be. We assess the case taking our clues from a concern the authors mention – and another one that they do not directly address.
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  21. Ethics of fetal reduction: a reply to my critics.Joona Räsänen - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (2):142-143.
    In the article, Twin pregnancy, fetal reduction and the ‘all or nothing problem’, I argued that there is a moral problem in multifetal pregnancy reduction from a twin to a singleton pregnancy. Drawing on Horton’s original version of the ‘all or nothing problem’, I argued that there are two intuitively plausible claims in 2-to-1 MFPR: aborting both fetuses is morally permissible, aborting only one of the twin fetuses is morally wrong. Yet, with the assumption that one should select permissible choice (...)
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  22.  95
    A Critical Take on Procreative Justice.Joona Räsänen, Andreas Bengtson, Hugo Cossette-Lefebvre & Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - forthcoming - Bioethics.
    Herjeet Kaur Marway recently proposed the Principle of Procreative Justice, which says that reproducers have a strong moral obligation to avoid completing race and colour injustices through their selection choices. In this article, we analyze this principle and argue, appealing to a series of counterexamples, that some of the implications of Marway's Principle of Procreative Justice are difficult to accept. This casts doubt on whether the principle should be adopted. Also, we show that there are some more principled worries regarding (...)
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  23. Further defence of legal age change: a reply to the critics.Joona Räsänen - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (7):471-472.
    In ‘Moral case for legal age change’, I argue that sometimes people should be allowed to change their age. I refute six immediate objections against the view that age change is permissible. I argue that the objections cannot show that legal age change should always be prohibited. In this paper, I consider some further objections against legal age change raised by Iain Brassington, Toni Saad and William Simkulet. I argue that the objections fail to show that age change should never (...)
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  24. Age change in healthcare settings: a reply to Lippert-Rasmussen and Petersen.Joona Räsänen - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9):636-637.
    Lippert-Rasmussen and Petersen discuss my ‘Moral case for legal age change’ in their article ‘Age change, official age and fairness in health’. They argue that in important healthcare settings (such as distributing vital organs for dying patients), the state should treat people on the basis of their chronological age because chronological age is a better proxy for what matters from the point of view of justice than adjusted official age. While adjusted legal age should not be used in deciding who (...)
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  25.  56
    Personality Discrimination and the Wrongness of Hiring Based on Extraversion.Joona Räsänen & Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-14.
    Employers sometimes use personality tests in hiring or specifically look for candidates with certain personality traits such as being social, outgoing, active, and extraverted. Therefore, they hire based on personality, specifically extraversion in part at least. The question arises whether this practice is morally permissible. We argue that, in a range of cases, it is not. The common belief is that, generally, it is not permissible to hire based on sex or race, and the wrongness of such hiring practices is (...)
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  26. Antinatalism—Solving everything everywhere all at once?Joona Räsänen & Matti Häyry - 2023 - Bioethics 37 (9):829-830.
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  27. Defending the link between ethical veganism and antinatalism.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (4):415-418.
    In my paper recently published in a collection of controversial arguments in this journal, I argued that the same principles that are behind ethical veganism also warrant antinatalist conclusions. I thus suggested that to be consistent in their ethical reasoning, moral vegans should not have children. William Bülow has kindly responded to my claims and offered a plausible reply, which, according to him, concludes that at least some moral vegans may resist antinatalism. In this short paper, I reply to Bülow.
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  28. Defending the de dicto approach to the non-identity problem.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Monash Bioethics Review 41 (2):124-135.
    Is it wrong to create a blind child, for example by in vitro fertilization, if you could create a sighted child instead? Intuitively many people believe it is wrong, but this belief is difficult to justify. When there is a possibility to create and select either ‘blind’ or ‘sighted’ embryos choosing a set of ‘blind’ embryos seems to harm no-one since choosing ‘sighted’ embryos would create a different child altogether. So when the parents choose ‘blind’ embryos, they give some specific (...)
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  29. When biological ageing is desirable? A reply to García-Barranquero et al.Joona Räsänen - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    García-Barranquero et al explore the desirability of human ageing. They differentiate between chronological and biological views of ageing and contend that the positive aspects of ageing are solely linked to chronological ageing. Consequently, the authors embrace the potential for technological interventions in biological ageing. Contrary to their stance, I argue that there are sometimes desirable aspects associated with biological ageing. Therefore, proposals aiming to eliminate, mitigate or diminish biological ageing are not without problems.
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  30. Saving the babies or the elderly in a time of crisis?Joona Räsänen - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (7):180-182.
    In their important article, Haward et al. (2020) discuss whether guidelines for treating extremely premature babies should be altered to free up ventilators during crises such as COVID-19 pandemic. The authors’ claim is that premature babies do not deserve special consideration for ventilator treatment but merely equal consideration. In this brief commentary, I continue their discussion by considering additional factors that may help us determine whom we should save in a crisis: babies or the elderly.
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  31. ICU triage decisions and biases about time and identity.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Bioethics 37 (7):662-667.
    We often show a greater inclination to assist and avoid harming people identified as those at high risk of great harm than to assist and avoid harming people who will suffer similar harm but are not identified (as yet). Call this the identified person bias. Some ethicists think such bias is justified; others disagree and claim that the bias is discriminatory against statistical people. While the issue is present in public policy and politics, perhaps the most notable examples can be (...)
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  32. Clarifying the Discussion on Prioritization and Discrimination in Healthcare.Joona Räsänen - 2023 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 32 (2):139-140.
    Discrimination is an important real-life issue that affects many individuals and groups. It is also a fruitful field of study that intersects several disciplines and methods. This Special Section brings together papers on discrimination and prioritization in healthcare from leading scholars in bioethics and closely related fields.
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  33. Should Acknowledgments in Published Academic Articles Include Gratitude for Reviewers Who Reviewed for Journals that Rejected Those Articles?Joona Räsänen & Pekka Louhiala - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):713-728.
    It is a common practice for authors of an academic work to thank the anonymous reviewers at the journal that is publishing it. Allegedly, scholars thank the reviewers because their comments improved the paper and thanking them is a proper way to show gratitude to them. Yet often, a paper that is eventually accepted by one journal is first rejected by other journals, and even though those journals’ reviewers also supply comments that improve the quality of the work, those reviewers (...)
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  34. Who should have access to assisted gestative technologies?Joona Räsänen - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (7):447-447.
    Romanis has written another interesting and important paper on reproductive ethics entitled assisted gestative technologies.1 In this short commentary, I continue the discussion on the question of who should have access to AGTs. This commentary should not be understood as a critical reply but as a friendly extension of one of the paper’s themes. I am not trying to solve the question of who should have access to these technologies but I put forth some groundwork for future work. Romanis calls (...)
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  35. Abortion and the veil of ignorance: a response to Minehan.Joona Räsänen - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (6):411-412.
    In a recent JME paper, Matthew John Minehan applies John Rawls’ veil of ignorance against Judith Thomson’s famous violinist argument for the permissibility of abortion. Minehan asks readers to ‘imagine that one morning you are back to back in bed with another person. One of you is conscious and the other unconscious. You do not know which one you are’. Since from this position of ignorance, you have an equal chance of being the unconscious violinist and the conscious person attached (...)
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  36. Arguments about Abortion: Personhood Morality and Law, written by Kate Greasley. [REVIEW]Joona Räsänen - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (4):521-523.
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