Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(5)
Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(5)
Popular in Course
Popular in Department
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 24 views.
Reviews for Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(5)
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/06/15
Medical Ethics 041409 Phil 1643 Spring 09 l Instructor Kristoffer Ahlstrom leayrtmpyzarumamedu l httppeopleumassedukahlstro164 REPRODUCTIVE AUTONOMY Here is a fairly intuitive position It is up to the parents whether or not to reproduce Indeed this is why many of us at least in the western world take government policies such as the one7child policy in China to be an unwarranted invasion ofliberty Most of us feel that it simply is not for the government to decide whether or not people should have children But here is a question Does this supposed right of the parents regarding 11217311737quot to have children extent to wind kindof children to have PARENTAL LIBERTY VS CHILDRENS RIGHTS For example do parents have the right to choose a child without dink2y It is easy to frame such decision in terms of selfishness However it is probably a mistake to always brush off the considerations of parents that easily After all Some disabilities are so devastating that no one should be blamed for failing to cope ExainpleJulia Hollander s daughter Imogen was born with permanent damage to the cortex As a result she had recurrent f1ts would never walk or tall be able to smile make eye contact or communicate in any other way than by crying and had a life expectancy of twenty years Of course this does not mean that the parent never have to take into account the rights of the child Coincidence of Interest Divergence ofInterest In some cases the interests of the parents and child will In other cases we can imagine that the interests of the probably mimide such as in the following cases parents and the child will diverge such as in the following 7 Not smoking during pregnancy 7 Aborting a fetus 7 Selecting an embryo 7 Discarding an embryo How are we to think of the potential con icts ofinterest in the latter case TWO DIMENSIONS TO REPRODUCTIVE ETHICS According to Glover there are two dimensions of reproductive ethics a What we owe to our children 5 Making the world a better place Now think about the cases where the interest of parents and children potentially diverge Unless we owe potential peo7 ple life then it seems that we are no doing anything wrong when discarding an embryo as far as a is concerned Simi7 larly many people would say in the case of abortion Nor are we doing anyone wrong by bringing a disabled child into the world Again the only option for that child is not a life without handicap but nommz39xleme But what about 5 ie making the world a better place Does that aspect of morality stop us from bringing disabled people into the world since we are thereby creating a world wherein more people suffer than if we had brought other children into the world instead Consider two medical programs Description Result Pregnancy Program Targets the risk in pregnancy associi Each year 1000 children who would ated with a particular disability by have had the disability are born with treating those women that test posii out it tive Conception Program Targets the risk at conception by ad Each year 1000 women who would vising women intending to become have had a child with the disability pregnant to postpone pregnancy for instead have a different child without at least two months if testing positive the disability Which program is preferable Derek Parfit wants to clam that they re eqna preferable But he s making an important assumption namely that we op for live eoneeplionprograrn More oorn wil7 llie disaoiiy do no know that 1175 eond have oeen spared had we opZed for lliepregnangprogram However Glover is not convinced by Parfit s argument He points out that even if there will be no Minacomplaints from the people born with disabilities since they are not aware of the fact that they could have been spared there might still be gronndr for reproach WHAT WE OWE TO OUR CHILDREN But what would these grounds for complaint look like That depends on what we owe our children in relation to reproi duction Here are three suggestions The Zero View Perfectionism The Decent Chance View It is morally permissible to bring a It is morally permissible to bring a It is morally permissible to bring a child into the world as long as it can child into the world as long as we do child into the world as long as it has a be expected to live a life that is at the everything we can to assure that the decent chance of a good life and very least worl7 living child will have the oexl life possible cannot be taken to be exposed to any Jerionx rixkx just by virtue of being Probem This seems to be putting the Probem How do we know what con brought into the world bar far too low Do we really not owe stitutes the best life that possible our children any more than an exisi for the child There seems to be a This view seems to strike a nice bale tence that is slightly above the bare great risk that a variety of aspects to a ance between the previous two ex minimum of an acceptable existence good life may be overlooked in favor treme views or a simplified account ofhappiness What would be the recommendations owing from the Decent Chance View In general we can take it that parents freedom to choose w7el7er they want children or wlial kindof children they want can be constrained by the extent to which the children can be expected to have a decent chance to lead a good life If that can t be guaranteed then the parents freedom does no overrule the rights of the child Here are a couple of scenarios Lesbian Parents It does not seem that having lesbian parents would deprive one of a decent chance of a good life nor put one in any serious risk just by virtue ofbeing brought into the world So on the Decent Chance View there do not seem to be any good reasons to bar lesbian couples from having children Teenage Parents Being a teenage parent is undoubtedly a hard thing But it s not obviousior at the very least it cannot be taken for grantedithat is has to imply that the child in question will not have a decent chance ofa good life or is exposed to any serious risk just by virtue of being brought into the world Child Abusers One case where it seems likely that the Decent Chance View would yield a negative recommendai tion is in the case of people with a history of child abuse requesting fertility treatment Given that it s likely that the children in question will not have a decent chance ofa good a life and might be exposed to serious risks it might be morally appropriate to withhold such treatment
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'