Do we really have the right to a child?

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Do we really have the right to a child?
    • Maybe it's a basic need/desire rather than a right, which contributes to quality and meaning of life?
    • Utilitarianism considers:
      • Pleasure/ pain of unused embryos- using the hedonic calculus?
      • Benefit to world overpopulation
      • Universal isation- could everyone be allowed artificial treatments?
      • Would costs to the health services be better spent increasing quality or quantity of pleasure for the majority?
      • Embryo isn't sacred, merely a number
      • Emotions of friends and family (IVF has a low success rate)
    • Situation Ethics- involving a third party is fine if the outcome is loving, e.g. the child is loved. Artificial treatments have been made out of compassion
    • Maybe IVF's resources should be limited to more serious cases, and those whose reproductive ability was damaged by medical treatments/ working conditions
    • What if the couple divorced/separated? Or (like with Diane Blood) died? what about surrogate mothers? (E.g. baby M and the Sterns)
    • If women are desperate enough to consider lengthy, risky, costly and often unsuccessful treatments, they should have the right
    • Natural Law- outcome and benefits are irrelevant. Masturbation is unnatural and shouldn't be used to harvest sperm. Moreover, destroying embryos isn't preserving innocent life!
    • Does life begin at conception? Or only once the embryos implanted in the uterus? What about discarded embryos? Is sex selection and designer babies right, weeding out imperfections? Are embryos property or autonomous? Is the high cost and hazardous drugs worth the low success rate?
    • Maybe it's OK for married couples? Maybe even unmarried?
    • Protestant churches- Paul Ramsay's Christocentric approach- AID means a 'refusal of the image of God's creation in our own'. Only reproduction in marriage is good, reflecting Christ's love for his church
    • Kantian Ethics- unethical if not universalisable in terms of costs and facilities, or if people are treated as means, e.g.:
      • Selecting an embryo to genetically match a sibling to treat medically
      • Using a surrogate mother
      • Destroying embryos to create life. Is the good will still good if so many die? Do we have a duty to the discarded embryos?
    • Catholic Church- welcomed the UK's first test tube baby and overcoming disease in embryos.  But spare embryos are experimented on and discarded, born outside of love in a laboratory procedure. But embryos are human lives!
    • 1988Declaration of Human Rights - we have a right to marry and found a family free from constraint- what about the right to reproduce? It may be fundamental in freedom to act, but we don't tolerate incestuous reproduction!


No comments have yet been made

Similar Ethics resources:

See all Ethics resources »See all The right to a child resources »