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Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice

Editor(s): J R Spencer, Antje du Bois-Pedain
Media of Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice
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Published: 03-04-2006
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 236
ISBN: 9781847311603
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £33.29
Online price : £26.63
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Loren Epson

About Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice

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.

Table Of Contents

Part I: The Rights and Wrongs of Reproduction

1. The Limits of Rights-based Discourse

2. Choosing Who: What is Wrong with Making Better Children?

3. Disability, Enhancement and the Harm-Benefit Continuum

Part II: Social Conceptions and Legal Regulation of Families and Family-making

4. Genes, Genealogies and Paternity: Making Babies in the Twenty-first Century

5. The Contingency of the 'Genetic Link' in Constructions of Kinship and Inheritance-An Anthropological Perspective

6. Regulating the Science and Therapeutic Application of Human Embryo Research: Managing the Tension Between Biomedical Creativity and Public Concern

7. Defining Parenthood

Part III: Reproductive Autonomy and Parenthood

8. Parenting by Being; Parenting by Doing – In Search of Principles for Founding Families

9. Birthrights? The Rights and Obligations Associated with the Birth of a Child

10. Reproductive Choice: Men's Freedom and Women's Responsibility?


“…a useful resource for academics, practitioners and policy makers alike, as well as the interested general public…an excellent teaching resource…the collections do a wonderful job of encouraging readers to think critically about regulatory issues around human reproductive science” –  Julie McCandless, Keele University, Feminist Legal Studies

“…this is an engaging and thought-provoking collection…the editors and contributors should be congratulated for producing a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on reproductive choice and responsibility.” –  Emily Jackson, The Law Quarterly Review, Vol 123

“Together, all [the] chapters create a rich source for anyone interested in how medically assisted conception has perhaps changed our way(s) of thinking about 'family', and what issues new policy should be seeking to address.” –  Julie McCandless, Feminist Legal Studies, Vol 15

“… anyone with an interest in human rights, reproduction and family life will find some rich and informative chapters in this collection.” –  Emily Jackson, European Human Rights Law Review 2007, 2

“ important and stimulating book, particularly for those who have an interest in socio-legal studies. Expanding the discussion well beyond procreative autonomy and liberty rights, these highly informative essays address the changing social conceptions and legal regulation of family-making, as well as reproductive autonomy and parenthood.” –  Ilke Ozdemir, Social and Legal Studies 17 (3)

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