Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(10)
Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(10)
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Massachusetts taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 14 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Medical Ethics 042309 Phil 1643 Spring 09 l Instructor Kristoffer Ahlstrom leayrtmpyzarumamedu l httppeopleumassedukahlstro164 GENETIC COUNSELING People at risk for or suffering from hereditary diseases can choose to talk to genelz39e Mmeem regarding the nature of their disorder as well as options available in family planning The job of such counselors is not to tell people what to do but rather to state the facts and options in an as neetlm manner as possible so that the patient can make an immed decision This makes a lot of sense ifwe consider the ways in which such counseling Wtng wrong 7 Dogmatic recommendations of any particular optionieg regarding the termination of abortions involving fe7 tuses with severe genetic diseasesion part of the counselor could be construed as falling within the tradition of eigem39m 7 In general a too enthusiastic espousal of abortion as an option in cases of genetically disabled fetuses may be construed as aberlz39em39xl and as such politically controversial 7 A too substantial role of counselors in genetic decisions would involve outsourcing to a third party decisions associated with family planning that are intenselyprivale Consequently the primary principle guiding genetic counselors in their work is something like the following Reaper lliepalz39enl i ahlenemyiz39mhdz39ng llieirpam39mar beliefs atle1 traditions inelinalz39em eimtmilamei andfeez39ngiiand 5mm iimp fer ewemg liepalz39enl lo maee informed and indQemienl deez39iiem This all sounds well and goodiuntil there is a moral con ict between the patient s autonomy and other factors we deem morally relevant Take for example the case of deaf parents wanting a deaf child It is one thing for a counselor to not intervene when parents deaf clue to hereditary factors want to have children it s quite another it seems when they want help with selecting a child suffering from what we tend to think of as a dz39iabz39lzy OPEN FUTURES So how are we to think of the considerations that may be brought to bear on this kind of situation Davis wants us to understand the relevant considerations in terms ofa parental responsibility to not rob the child of an epen tlyre What does this mean We can imagine that rights come in four kinds 7 Genera7731715 Such as the right not to be killed shared by children and adults 7 Dependengwgilx Such as the child s right to food shelter and protection 7 Adal 72372 Such as the free exercise ofreligion 7 Rzglimz39mlmil Such as the right of a child to not have her future options be radically restricted by parents Here are two concrete examples of rights7in7trust a The 72th lo r redme It might be that as a child you don t have a right or even ability to reproduce Still this does not make it OK for the parents of a child to sterilize her at a young age thereby making it impossible for her to ever conceive b The general 77th lo an epen tmre There are tons of things that you cannot do or experience as a child Still that does not mean that it is right for the parents ofa child to say restrict your education in ways that will virtually ensure that you will become a housewife or an agricultural laborer The latter issue has been discussed in relation to the Supreme Court decision to allow Amish parents to not send their children to school past eight grade since doing so would be antithetical to their ie the parent s religion and way of life Dena Davis suggests that this decision fails to take into account the rights of the children involved and defends the following principle A liberal vale mm lelerale even lliexe eemmimiliex like the AMiJi max angmpalielie la the liberal value efimlividaal elmiee are a llie Jame lime safeguard the aailiy aft7e individual la JIii allegiamex and ram Mandarin As she puts it The autonomy of the imlividaalis prior to that of the group DEAF CHILDREN AND OPEN FUTURES So how does this bear on the issue of deaf parents wanting deaf children Here is what Davis says If deafness is considered a disability one that substantially narrows a child s career marriage and cultural options in the future then deliberately creating a deaf child counts as a moral harm lf deafness is considered a culture as Deaf activists would have us agree then deliberately creating a Deaf child who will have only very limited options to move outside that culture also counts as a moral harm A decision made before a child is even born that con fines her forever to a narrow group of people and a limited choice of career so violates the child s right to an open future that no genetic counseling team should acquiesce in it p 254 Question Does Davis point apply equally in a the case where we are engaging in selective abortion or pre implantation diagnosis as in 1 a scenario where the parents have the option of providing cochlear implants for their infant
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