Sex Selection: Some Ethical and Policy Considerations
Kluge, Eike-Henner W.
Health Care Analysis: An International Journal of Health Philosophy and Policy 2007 June; 15(2): 73-89
Sex selection, which refers to the attempt to choose or control the sex of a child prior to its birth, has become the subject of increasing ethical scrutiny and many jurisdictions have criminalized it except for serious sex-linked diseases or conditions that cannot easily be ameliorated or remedied. This paper argues that such a blanket prohibition is ethically unwarranted because it is based on a flawed understanding of the difference between sexist values and mere sex-oriented preferences. It distinguishes between ethics and public policy, and suggests a way of allowing preference-based sex selection as a matter of public policy without permitting value-based sex selection. It further argues that medically-based sex selection should be publicly funded but that preference-base sex selection should not be paid for by society, and that the prohibition against value-based sex selection should be enforced through legislation that controls the licensing of health care facilities and through disciplinary procedures against health care professionals.
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