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Acting parentally: an argument against sex selection.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of medical ethics
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
10
Pages
601–605
Identifiers
PMID: 16199604
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) recent restrictive recommendations on sex selection have highlighted the need for consideration of the plausibility of ethical arguments against sex selection. In this paper, the author suggests a parental virtues approach to some questions of reproductive ethics (including sex selection) as a superior alternative to an exclusively harm focused approach such as the procreative liberty framework. The author formulates a virtue ethics argument against sex selection based on the idea that acceptance is a character trait of the good parent. It is concluded that, because the argument presented posits a wrong in the sex selecting agent's action that is not a harm, the argument could not function as a justification of the HFEA's restrictive position in light of their explicit commitment to procreative liberty; it does, however, suggest that ethical approaches focused exclusively on harm fail to capture all the relevant moral considerations and thus that we should look beyond such approaches.

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