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Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing$
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Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190940362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190940362.001.0001

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Choice, Chance, and Acceptance

Choice, Chance, and Acceptance

(p.143) 10 Choice, Chance, and Acceptance
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing

Jackie Leach Scully

Oxford University Press

Current genetic intervention against disease and disability relies on prenatal genetic testing and the option of termination or on the expensive and demanding process of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. By contrast, gene editing promises to increase reproductive choice through therapeutic and restorative interventions that avoid the ethical issues of abortion or selection. Eventually, gene editing could effectively eradicate disability-linked genetic anomalies from the human genome. If it becomes possible to eradicate genetically influenced disability, would anything be lost, and if so, a loss to whom or to what? This chapter considers the ethics of the control over biology offered by gene editing and the exercise of choice using that control in parental reproductive decisions. The discussion examines empirical data on the views of the UK public that offer an alternative perspective for bioethical thinking about reproductive autonomy, the exercise of choice, and the nature of good parenthood.

Keywords:   choice, control, autonomy, relational autonomy, parenthood, empirical bioethics, reproduction, gene editing, flourishing

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