Reproductive cloning, genetic engineering and the autonomy of the child: the moral agent and the open future
Journal of Medical Ethics 2007 February; 33(2): 87-93
Some authors have argued that the human use of reproductive cloning and genetic engineering should be prohibited because these biotechnologies would undermine the autonomy of the resulting child. In this paper, two versions of this view are discussed. According to the first version, the autonomy of cloned and genetically engineered people would be undermined because knowledge of the method by which these people have been conceived would make them unable to assume full responsibility for their actions. According to the second version, these biotechnologies would undermine autonomy by violating these people's right to an open future. There is no evidence to show that people conceived through cloning and genetic engineering would inevitably or even in general be unable to assume responsibility for their actions; there is also no evidence for the claim that cloning and genetic engineering would inevitably or even in general rob the child of the possibility to choose from a sufficiently large array of life plans.
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