Building on Professor Michael H. Shapiro's critique of arguments that some uses of new reproductive technologies devalue and use persons inappropriately (which is part of a Symposium on New Reproductive Technologies), this work considers two specific practices that increasingly are becoming part of the new reproductive landscape: selective reduction of multiple pregnancy and prenatal genetic testing to enable selective abortion. Professor Shapiro does not directly address either practice, but each may raise troubling questions that sound suspiciously like the arguments that Professor Shapiro sought to discredit. The concerns that selective reduction and prenatal genetic screening raise, however, relate not to why and in what circumstances persons employ new reproductive techniques and collaborations in order to become genetic parents, but to the nature and consequences of the actions that persons undertake in order to achieve that goal. Still, these practices may be troubling precisely because of the effects they have on our understanding of personhood. After discussing these two practices, I will suggest the value of paying more attention to the contexts in which decisions regarding those practices are made and shaping those contexts to encourage meaningful information transmission, values clarification, and reflection.
Choice, Conscience, and Context,
Hastings Law Journal
Available at: https://scholarship.law.pitt.edu/fac_articles/416
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