Choosing Tomorrow's Children: The Ethics of Selective Reproduction

ISBN : 9780199273966

Stephen Wilkinson
288 Pages
163 x 241 mm
Pub date
Feb 2010
Issues in Biomedical Ethics
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To what extent should parents be allowed to use reproductive technologies to determine the characteristics of their future children? And is there something morally wrong with parents who wish to do this? Choosing Tomorrow's Children provides answers to these (and related) questions. In particular, the book looks at issues raised by selective reproduction, the practice of choosing between different possible future persons by selecting or deselecting (for example) embryos, eggs, and sperm. Wilkinson offers answers to questions including the following. Do children have a 'right to an open future' and, if they do, what moral constraints does this place upon selective reproduction? Should parents be allowed to choose their future children's sex? Should we 'screen out' as much disease and disability as possible before birth, or would that be an objectionable form of eugenics? Is it acceptable to create or select a future person in order to provide lifesaving tissue for an existing relative? Is there a moral difference between selecting to avoid disease and selecting to produce an 'enhanced' child? Should we allow deaf parents to use reproductive technologies to ensure that they have a deaf child?


1. Introduction: the Ethics of Selective Reproduction
2. Parental Duties and Virtues
3. Selecting for Disability and the Welfare of the Child
4. Choosing One for the Sake of Another
5. Treating Children as Commodities
6. Eugenics and the Expressivist Argument
7. Enhancement
8. Sex Selection

About the author: 

Stephen Wilkinson is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University.

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