bioethics_lecture11

Bioethics_lecture11 - BioethicsLecture11: MichaelTrestman Inothe

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Bioethics Lecture 11: Genetic Control continued Michael Trestman We left off last time looking at Savulescu’s argument that:  “We have a moral obligation to test for genetic contribution to non-disease states such as  intelligence and to use this information in reproductive decision-making.” In other words, we should use in vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic screening  to make designer babies (where we select at least  some  traits) Which traits?  Those that are  general purpose means —helpful for achieving any ends an  individual might have, useful for achieving a good life, whatever you might think a good  life is. Intelligence is supposed to be one of these. Savelescu argues for this using the  Principle of Procreative Beneficence (PPB) : “Couples (or single reproducers) should select the child, of the possible children they  could have, who is expected to have the best life, or at least as good a life as the others,  based on the relevant available information.” Savulescu argues that we need PPB to explain why, for example a woman should avoid  becoming pregnant while she is sick with rubella (which can cause birth defects).  Choosing when to get pregnant (with or without rubella) is supposed to be tightly  analogous to choosing from among embryos (one with a disease gene, one without). Towards the end of the paper, Savulescu considers the objections that the practice of  genetic screening and selection will promote social inequality.  The objection is supposed  to go like this: Screening against a trait will promote discrimination against people with that trait by: - making a negative statement about the  worth  of people with the trait - reducing the number of people with the trait This can apply to people with heritable and congenital diseases, like certain forms of  blindness and deafness, or Down syndrome.
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First, Savulescu says, even if this were true, it would not justify banning the use of  screening.  People should be free to use the tech if they want.
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course PHI 15 taught by Professor Dworkin during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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Bioethics_lecture11 - BioethicsLecture11: MichaelTrestman Inothe

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