Prenatal Genetic Interventions

David DeGrazia

in Creation Ethics

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195389630
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949731 | DOI:
Prenatal Genetic Interventions

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This chapter addresses three types of interventions: (1) prenatal genetic diagnosis (PGD); (2) prenatal genetic therapy (PGT); and (3) prenatal genetic enhancement (PGE). Following an overview of reprogenetics, the discussion turns to three important objections advanced by disability advocates against PGD: (a) the loss-of-support argument, (b) the “expressivist objection,” and (c) the thesis that disabilities are really just differences. The next section confronts the idea that PGT, by changing an individual’s genome, would modify essential features, thereby creating a new individual. The author argues that, on a plausible understanding of prenatal identity, the latter is robust and consistent with genetic modifications—a thesis that strengthens the ethical case for PGT. In the final section, it is argued that PGE can be acceptably safe, compatible with a future child’s “right to an open future,” and therefore consistent with her best interests. After examining various other issues concerning PGE, the author deems PGE morally defensible within limits.

Keywords: reprogenetics; prenatal genetic diagnosis; prenatal genetic therapy; prenatal genetic enhancement; disability; identity; best interests

Chapter.  18985 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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