Ethical challenges of radical innovation in assisted reproduction

Appleby, John (2022) Ethical challenges of radical innovation in assisted reproduction. In: Multicultural & Interreligious Perspectives on the Ethics of Human Reproduction - Protecting Future Generations. Religion and Human Rights . Springer, Cham, pp. 1-12. ISBN 9783030869373

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In this chapter I ask the following question: what are some of the key ethical challenges presented by radical innovations in assisted reproduction and, when possible, how should these challenges be addressed? My response to this question aims to take into account Article 16 (Protecting future generations) of the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. While the number of ethical challenges that emerge with the radical innovation of reproductive technologies are too numerous to address in one piece of work, I aim to address a set of four critical areas of concern in this chapter. First, I make some terminological clarifications surrounding the use of the term ‘radical innovation’ in assisted reproduction. Second, I argue that the emergence of radical innovations in assisted reproduction requires that we take a more nuanced approach to use the word ‘parent’ to ensure that future ethical debates and regulations are precise and meaningful. This is crucial if the aim is to develop effective ethics and regulations to protect future generations. Third, I argue that radical innovations in assisted reproduction, such as in-vitro derived gametes, have disrupted our traditional concepts of ‘genetic relatedness’ and our perception of future offspring’s genetic constitution. Fourth, I argue that radical innovation in assisted reproduction presents society with a range of safety risks and costs, but also the promise of ultimately making reproduction safer. However, I argue that society has a responsibility to ensure that the introduction of radical innovations is translated from bench to bedside with the aim of prioritizing the safety and welfare of future generations (and their parents) and fostering trust in science.

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18 Jun 2021 09:57
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18 Sep 2023 02:46