What responsibilities, if any, do we have towards our genetic offspring, before or after birth and perhaps even before creation, merely by virtue of the genetic link? What claims, if any, arise from the mere genetic parental relation? Should society through its legal arrangements allow 'fatherless' or 'motherless' children to be born, as the current law on medically assisted reproduction involving gamete donation in some legal systems does? Does the possibility of establishing genetic parentage with practical certainty necessitate reform of current legal regimes of parenthood? And what limits, if any, should we set on parental procreative choices in the interests of future children, particularly with regard to genetic engineering and related techniques? These are the questions explored in this book by some of the foremost legal, bioethical and biomedical thinkers.
Assembled with a view to assisting the reader to reflect critically on the ongoing social experiment which medically assisted reproduction is today, the essays in this collection highlight what are - and what else might in the nearby future become - possible reproductive options and respond to the difficulties we encounter in assessing these practices and possibilities from our traditional ethical vantage points. Contributions by: Andrew Bainham, Thomas Baldwin, Lisa Bortolotti, John Harris, Martin H. Johnson, Judith Masson, Martin Richards, Alison Shaw, Sally Sheldon, Bonnie Steinbock and Mary Warnock.