IVF Technology and the Argument From Potential
Philosophy and Public Affairs. 1988 Spring; 17(2): 87-104.
Singer and Dawson point out that two arguments against abortion, that the embryo is entitled to protection because from fertilization it is (1) a human being or (2) a potential human being, are also used by opponents of embryo experimentation. They focus on the second argument, evaluating the notion of potentiality as it applies to gametes, to the unimplanted embryo, to the implanted developing embryo, and to the embryo created by in vitro fertilization (IVF). They argue that there is a crucial distinction between natural reproduction, in which all that is needed for the embryo to have a prospect of reaching its potential is for those involved to refrain from stopping it, and IVF, in which the embryo cannot develop into a person without a deliberate human act. Reproductive techniques necessitate our rethinking of established views about potentiality, and how it should be applied to the embryo in a laboratory. (KIE abstract)
Abortion; Beginning of Life; Cryopreservation; Embryo Transfer; Embryos; Embryo Experimentation; Fetal Development; Fetal Research; Fetuses; Gametes; In Vitro Fertilization; IVF; Life; Moral Obligations; Ovum; Personhood; Philosophy; Reproduction; Research; Sperm; Statistics; Technology; Value of Life;
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Dawson, Karen; Singer, Peter (1990-01-20)Some existing laws and some proposed legislation regulating the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) limit its availability to infertile couples. Dawson and Singer question whether it is reasonable to so restrict access ...