Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, reproductive freedom, and deliberative democracy.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2009 April; 34(2): 135-154
In this paper I argue that the account of deliberative democracy advanced by Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson (1996, 2004) is a useful normative theory that can help enhance our deliberations about public policy in morally pluralistic societies. More specifically, I illustrate how the prescriptions of deliberative democracy can be applied to the issue of regulating non-medical uses of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), such as gender selection. Deliberative democracy does not aim to win a philosophical debate among rival first-order theories, such as libertarianism, egalitarianism or feminism. Rather, it advances a second-order analysis that strives to help us determine what would constitute a reasonable balance between the conflicting fundamental values that arise in the context of regulating PGD. I outline a theoretical model (called the Reasonable Genetic Intervention Model) that brings these issues to the fore. Such a model incorporates the concern for both procedural and substantive principles; and it does so in way that takes provisionality seriously.
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