Rethinking ReprogeneticsEnhancing Ethical Analyses of Reprogenetic Technologies

Rethinking ReprogeneticsEnhancing Ethical Analyses of Reprogenetic Technologies

Inmaculada de Melo-Martin

Print publication date: Oct 2016

ISBN: 9780190460204

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Reprogenetic technologies, which combine the power of reproductive techniques with the tools of genetic science and technology, promise prospective parents a remarkable degree of control to pick and choose the likely characteristics of their offspring. Prominent authors such as Agar, Buchanan, DeGrazia, Green, Harris, Robertson, Savulescu, and Silver have flocked to the banner of reprogenetics. For them, increased reproductive choice and reduced suffering through the elimination of genetic disease and disability are just the first step. They advocate use of these technologies to create beings who enjoy longer and healthier lives, possess greater intellectual capacities, and are capable of more refined emotional experiences. Indeed, Harris and Savulescu take reprogenetic technologies to be so valuable that their use is not only morally permissible but morally obligatory. Rethinking Reprogenetics challenges this mainstream view with a contextualized, gender-attentive philosophical perspective. It shows that one need not be a Luddite, a social conservative, or a religious zealot to be critical of reprogenetics. Pointing out the flawed nature of the arguments put forward by the technologies’ proponents, Rethinking Reprogenetics reveals the problematic nature of the assumptions underpinning current evaluations of these technologies and offers a framework for a more critical and skeptical assessment.