Expanding the child's range of open futures: a proposed basis for the ethical assessment of parental genetic trait selections
This dissertation considers the bases upon which ethical assessments of parental genetic trait selections for their children can be made. It argues that if parents engage in genetic trait selections, they must act to expand their child's range of open futures, not to constrict their child's range of open futures or to differentially shift their child's range of open futures. It contends that other proposed distinctions, including distinctions between normal and diseased states and between treatment selections and enhancement selections, do not provide a sound basis for making ethical assessments of parental genetic trait selections. It contends that children have a right to an open future that parents hold in trust for their children and that parents must respect in making genetic trait selections. It considers examples of possible parental genetic trait selections regarding children's hearing, height and visual acuity. Finally, it addresses a number of concerns about and objections to this proposed basis for ethical assessment and to parental genetic trait selection generally but concludes that none of these concerns or objections are fatal the approach that if parents use parental genetic trait selection, they must do so in ways that expand their child's range of open futures.
- Philosophy