Chapter

Bearing and Caring for Children with Disadvantage

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/9780195389630.003.0006
Bearing and Caring for Children with Disadvantage

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Chapter 5 argued that there are rare cases—the paradigm wrongful life cases—in which procreating is wrong because the resultant child’s life is predictably not worth living. Are there other cases in which procreation is wrong because of children’s expected quality of life? The chapter’s first section develops a view of what all parents owe their children. Next it is argued that in same-individual choices (having a child with disadvantage versus having the same child without disadvantage), the importance of procreative freedom is outweighed by consideration of the child’s interests. It is contended in the next section that procreative freedom carries greater weight with different-number choices (having a child with disadvantage versus not having a child) than it does with same-individual and same-number choices (having a child with disadvantage or, by delaying conception or aborting and conceiving again, having a different child without disadvantage). Turning to same-number choices, we encounter the much-discussed “nonidentity problem.” Various strategies for resolving this problem are identified and appraised, and a solution suggested. The final section recapitulates major findings from the previous sections, draws connections among them, and elicits implications for the ethics of procreating in a variety of circumstances in which prospective parents may find themselves.

Keywords: procreative freedom; quality of life; nonidentity problem

Chapter.  15939 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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