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Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology

Editor-in-Chief: Cutter, Anthony Mark

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SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.218
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.431
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 1.000

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1941-6008
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Virtue Ethics and Prenatal Genetic Enhancement

Colin Farrelly
Published Online: 2007-12-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1941-6008.1016

In this paper I argue that the virtue ethics tradition can enhance the moral discourse on the ethics of prenatal genetic enhancements in distinctive and valuable ways. Virtue ethics prescribes we adopt a much more provisional stance on the issue of the moral permissibility of prenatal genetic enhancements. A stance that places great care on differentiating between the different stakes involved with developing different phenotypes in our children and the different possible means (environmental vs. genetic manipulation) available to parents for pursuing legitimate concerns of parental love and virtue. Key components of the virtue ethics account of morality, such as the Aristotelian account of happiness, love and the doctrine of the mean, provide an adequate basis for rejecting the claim that it is morally impermissible for parents to pursue (safe and effective) prenatal enhancements. Furthermore, there is good reason to believe that a virtue ethics account of morality could actually support the stronger claim that utilising such interventions can (in certain contexts) be morally required.

Keywords: virtue; prenatal enhancement; love; eudaimonia

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Published Online: 2007-12-21


Citation Information: Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, ISSN (Online) 1941-6008, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1941-6008.1016.

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©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

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[1]
ROBERT SPARROW
Hastings Center Report, 2011, Volume 41, Number 1, Page 32
[2]
Ruiping Fan
The American Journal of Bioethics, 2010, Volume 10, Number 4, Page 62

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