- The Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics
- Biographical Sketches
- The Discursive Context of Reproductive Ethics
- Access to Basic Reproductive Rights: Global Challenges
- Constructing the Abortion Argument
- Victims of Trafficking, Reproductive Rights, and Asylum
- The Commodification of Women’s Reproductive Tissue and Services
- Twenty-First-Century Eugenics
- Procreative Rights in a Postcoital World
- Reproduction as a Civil Right
- Conscientious Objection in Reproductive Health
- The Role of Providers in Assisted Reproduction: Potential Conflicts, Professional Conscience, and Personal Choice
- Ethical Issues in Newborn Screening
- How We Acquire Parental Rights
- Mothers and Others: Relational Autonomy in Parenting
- Procreators’ Duties: Sexual Asymmetries
- Reproductive Control for Men: For Men?
- Societal Disregard for the Needs of the Infertile
- Is Surrogacy Ethically Problematic?
- Parents with Disabilities
- Late-in-Life Motherhood: Ethico-Legal Perspectives on the Postponement of Childbearing and Access to Artificial Reproductive Technologies
- Justice, Procreation, and the Costs of Having and Raising Disabled Children
- Ethical Issues in the Evolving Realm of Egg Donation
- Sperm and Egg Donor Anonymity: Legal and Ethical Issues
- Who Am I When I’m Pregnant?
- Contemplating the Start of Someone
- The Possibility of Being Harmed by One’s Own Conception
- Understanding Procreative Beneficence
- Opting for Twins in In Vitro Fertilization: What Does Procreative Responsibility Require?
- Procreative Responsibility in View of What Parents Owe Their Children
Abstract and Keywords
Technologies available since the 1970s have enabled parents to influence the genetic makeup of their children. As the twenty-first century unfolds, emerging technologies—including gamete selection, gene editing, and in vitro gametogenesis—may allow greater control over heredity. These technologies have been criticized for involving “eugenics.” However, it is often not clear what this criticism amounts to. What is eugenics and/or why it is a bad thing? This chapter provides a conceptual analysis of “eugenics” and discusses its relevance to debates about twenty-first-century reproductive technologies. We argue for the plausibility of a broad definition of eugenics as “an attempt to improve heredity.” Whereas most common usages of reproductive genetic technologies fall under this broad definition, this alone does not entail they are morally problematic. Indeed, there will often be moral reasons to pursue eugenic aims. We conclude by discussing the types of practices that may be justified in the name of eugenics.
Christopher Gyngell is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow with the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford
Professor Michael Selgelid is Director of Monash University’s Centre for Human Bioethics and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics therein. He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine and is a Monash-Warwick Honorary Professor in the Department of Politics & International Studies at the University of Warwick (UK).
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