Prenatal Parental Designing of Children and the Problem of Acceptance
Enhancement, Autonomy, Parenting, Genetic Modification
Seemingly ever improving medical technology and techniques portend the possibility of prenatally enhancing otherwise healthy, normal children—seamlessly enhancing or adding to a child’s natural abilities and characteristics. Though parents normally engage in enhancing children, i.e., child rearing, these technologies present radically new possibilities. This sort of enhancement, I argue, is morally problematic for the parent: the expectations of the enhancing parent necessarily conflict with attitudes of acceptance that moral parenting requires. Attitudes of acceptance necessitate that parents are open to the essentially-individual choices of the child that will determine the kind of person he or she becomes. However, the intentional act of enhancing contradicts this openness by setting expectations on who the child becomes. Because of this, there is strong moral weight against parents’ prenatally enhancing their children.
Original Publication Citation
“Prenatal Parental Designing of Children and the Problem of Acceptance.” Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy. 2018. 21.4: 529-535.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jensen, David A., "Prenatal Parental Designing of Children and the Problem of Acceptance" (2018). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 13.
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy