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Choosing Tomorrow's ChildrenThe Ethics of Selective Reproduction$
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Stephen Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273966.001.0001

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(p.186) 7 Enhancement
Choosing Tomorrow's Children

Stephen Wilkinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the view that there is something especially bad about creating ‘enhanced’ children. First, it analyses and clarifies different accounts of enhancement. Secondly, it identifies and explains some ethical views about enhancement: notably, the view that enhancement is especially morally problematic. Thirdly, it provides a critical assessment of these views. Finally, it asks what implications (if any) the most defensible of these positions have for reproductive ethics and for questions of law and regulation. The chapter's overall conclusion is that the most important arguments against enhancement-selection fail, with one possible limited exception. The exception concerns positional goods (which are linked, but only indirectly, to the idea of enhancement). It may be that there are reasons to restrict enhancement-selection where the enhancement provides goods that are purely or predominantly positional.

Keywords:   children, enhancement, positional goods, regulation, reproductive ethics

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