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Procreative altruism: beyond individualism in reproductive selection

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Abstract
Existing debate on procreative selection focuses on the wellbeing of the future child. However, selection decisions can also have significant effects on the wellbeing of others. Moreover, these effects may run in opposing directions; some traits conducive to the wellbeing of the selected child may be harmful to others, while other traits that limit the child’s wellbeing may preserve or increase that of others. Prominent selection principles defended to date instruct parents to select a child, of the possible children they could have, likely to have a good (or non-bad) life, but they do not instruct parents to independently take wellbeing of others into account. We refer to these principles as individualistic selection principles. We propose a new selection principle—Procreative Altruism—according to which parents have significant moral reason to select a child whose existence can be expected to contribute more to (or detract less from) the wellbeing of others than any alternative child they could have. We present the case for adopting Procreative Altruism alongside any of the major individualistic selection principles proposed to date and defend this two-principle model against a range of objections.
Keywords
behavioral genetics, CHILD, HAPLOTYPE, BENEFICENCE, eugenics, genetic selection, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, procreative beneficence

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Douglas, Thomas , and Katrien Devolder. 2013. “Procreative Altruism: Beyond Individualism in Reproductive Selection.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (4): 400–419.
APA
Douglas, Thomas , & Devolder, K. (2013). Procreative altruism: beyond individualism in reproductive selection. JOURNAL OF MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY, 38(4), 400–419.
Vancouver
1.
Douglas T, Devolder K. Procreative altruism: beyond individualism in reproductive selection. JOURNAL OF MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY. 2013;38(4):400–19.
MLA
Douglas, Thomas , and Katrien Devolder. “Procreative Altruism: Beyond Individualism in Reproductive Selection.” JOURNAL OF MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY 38.4 (2013): 400–419. Print.
@article{4109108,
  abstract     = {Existing debate on procreative selection focuses on the wellbeing of the future child. However, selection decisions can also have significant effects on the wellbeing of others. Moreover, these effects may run in opposing directions; some traits conducive to the wellbeing of the selected child may be harmful to others, while other traits that limit the child{\textquoteright}s wellbeing may preserve or increase that of others. Prominent selection principles defended to date instruct parents to select a child, of the possible children they could have, likely to have a good (or non-bad) life, but they do not instruct parents to independently take wellbeing of others into account. We refer to these principles as individualistic selection principles. We propose a new selection principle---Procreative Altruism---according to which parents have significant moral reason to select a child whose existence can be expected to contribute more to (or detract less from) the wellbeing of others than any alternative child they could have. We present the case for adopting Procreative Altruism alongside any of the major individualistic selection principles proposed to date and defend this two-principle model against a range of objections.},
  author       = {Douglas, Thomas  and Devolder, Katrien},
  issn         = {0360-5310},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY},
  keyword      = {behavioral genetics,CHILD,HAPLOTYPE,BENEFICENCE,eugenics,genetic selection,preimplantation genetic diagnosis,procreative beneficence},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {400--419},
  title        = {Procreative altruism: beyond individualism in reproductive selection},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jht022},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2013},
}

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