See used
Bortolotti, Lisa, John Harris. Disability, Enhancement and the Harm-Benefit Continuum
2006, In John R. Spencer & Antje Du Bois-Pedain (eds.), Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice. Hart Publishers
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nils-Hennes Stear

Suppose that you are soon to be a parent and you learn that there are some simple measures that you can take to make sure that your child will be healthy. In particular, suppose that by following the doctor’s advice, you can prevent your child from having a disability, you can make your child immune from a number of dangerous diseases and you can even enhance its future intelligence. All that is required for this to happen is that you (or your partner) comply with lifestyle and dietary requirements. Do you and your partner have any moral reasons (or moral obligations) to follow the doctor’s advice? Would it make a difference if, instead of following some simple dietary requirements, you consented to genetic engineering to make sure that your child was free from disabilities, healthy and with above average intelligence? In this paper we develop a framework for dealing with these questions and we suggest some directions the answers might take.

Comment: This is a paper that gives an account of enhancement and disability in terms of one's relative position on a harmed and benefitted continuum, and defends enhancement on completely general moral grounds according to which the pro tanto duty to enhance is the same as the pro tanto duty not to disable. It pairs well with criticisms of the 'new eugenics', such as Robert Sparrow's 'A Not-So-New Eugenics' (2011) and more generally with consequentialist or specifically harm-based accounts of moral obligation.

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