Chapter

Bearing Children in Wrongful Life Cases

David DeGrazia

in Creation Ethics

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195389630
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949731 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389630.003.0005
Bearing Children in Wrongful Life Cases

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After introducing two terrible genetic conditions and the concept of wrongful life, the chapter explores the ethics of wrongful life cases with considerable attention to conceptual issues that bear on ethical issues. The two major sections address these questions. First, is it ever wrong to bring someone into existence? If so, how can we coherently explain the nature of the wrong? Second, in view of the fact that human life always entails harms—to which no one consents before being brought into being—might it always be wrong to bear children, as suggested by arguments developed by David Benatar and Seanna Shiffrin? The chapter argues that it is sometimes wrong to bring someone into existence (and explains how this thesis is coherent) but, contra Benatar and Shiffrin, that procreation is not always wrong. In the concluding section, he begins to consider how to distinguish permissible from impermissible procreation, setting the stage for Chapter 6.

Keywords: procreation; wrongful life; harm; Benatar; Shiffrin

Chapter.  12561 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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