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Anna Alichniewicz, Monika Michałowska, Medicine of the Beginning of Life. Bioethical and Philosophical Arguments in the ART Debate

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Anna Alichniewicz, Monika Michałowska, Medicine of the Beginning of Life. Bioethical and Philosophical Arguments in the ART Debate
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Assisted reproductive technology (ART) because of the interference with the processes occurring in the very stuff of life has raised many problems concerning its medical, ethical, social, economic and legal aspects. In our book, we take a closer look at some of the questions we consider especially puzzling yet of great importance for ART. We have not attempted an exhaustive presentation of all ART-related issues that have been discussed since the inception of this form of medical intervention, but rather have focused on the questions that seem especially worthy of inquiry as being of a fundamental significance (the status of the human embryo), those relating to the ART procedure so frequently performed that it refers to the broad swathe of ART cases (egg donation), to a procedure that is especially challenging morally (preimplantation genetic diagnosis), and to the ART problem which is very often overlooked or misrepresented (parental age).

 

Rok wydania: 2019 
Wydanie pierwsze
Format 130 x 208 mm
Liczba stron: 164
Oprawa broszurowa
ISBN 978-83-66056-52-7
e-ISBN 978-83-66056-55-8
Cena katalogowa 25 zł
Projekt okładki i stron tytułowych: Ireneusz Sakowski

 

Contents

Preface, Anna Alichniewicz / 9
1 The Ontological and Moral Status of the Human Embryo, Anna Alichniewicz / 12
1.1 Background / 12
1.2 The Definition of the Embryo / 12
1.3 The Ontological and Moral Problems of the Human Embryo / 15
1.4 The Problem of Identity. Is Human Identity Transitive or Intransitive? / 17
1.5 The Problem of Interests. Do Human Embryos Have Moral Interests? / 21
1.6 The Problem of Human Essence and Species Membership / 26
1.7 The Problem of Personhood / 27
1.8 The Faces of Potentiality / 29
 
2 Egg Donation. A DonorFriendly Realm?, Anna Alichniewicz / 33
2.1 Background / 33
2.2 Health Risks of Egg Donation / 35
2.3 The Language of Gift in Egg Donation / 39
2.4 Financial Rewards for Egg Donors / 41
2.5 Boutique Egg Donation / 44
2.6 Transnational Egg Donation / 48
2.7 Informed Consent in Egg Donation / 50
 
3 Ethical Aspects of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, Monika Michałowska / 54
3.1 Historical and Medical Background / 54
3.2 ‘Playing Nature’ Argument / 58
3.3 Attempts at Pinpointing the Boundary Between Health and Disease / 61
3.4 ‘Seriousness’ of the Disease and Reduced Penetrance Conditions / 63
3.5 The Case of Adult-Onset Diseases / 69
3.6 Parental Responsibility Argument and the Principle of Procreative Beneficence / 72
 
4 Reproductive Market and Child’s Rights, Monika Michałowska / 78
4.1 Reproductive Genetic Supermarket / 78
4.2 The Child’s Right to an Open Future versus Parents’ Autonomy / 82
       4.2.1 The Child’s Right to an Open Future / 82
       4.2.2 Parents’ Reproductive Autonomy / 91
 
5 Parenthood and Age—Terminological Remarks, Anna Alichniewicz, Monika Michałowska / 96
5.1 Background / 96
5.2 Method, Management of Data, and Research Questions / 97
5.3 ‘Advanced Parental Age’ as a Risk Factor / 98
5.4 ‘Advanced Age’—a Terminological Puzzle / 102
5.5 ‘Advanced Parenthood’ and Social Benefits / 105
5.6 Gender Myths in Reproduction / 107
5.7 Final Remarks / 109
 
Appendix: Case Illustrations, Monika Michałowska / 111
The Case of Sofia Vergara—a Lawsuit on Behalf of Frozen Embryos / 111
The Case of Diane Blood—Posthumous Fertilisation / 114
The Case of Marissa Evans—Postmortem Gamete Retrieval / 116
Advanced Mother’s Age—In Vitro Fertilisation / 117
Costa and Pavan versus Italy—Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (Screening Out) / 118
S.H. and Others versus Austria—Gamete Donation / 120
Mitochondrial Donation / 127
Parrillo versus Italy—Embryo Donation for Scientific Purposes / 129
Mennesson versus France—Surrogacy / 132
The Case of Christiano Ronaldo—Surrogacy / 135
 
Glossary / 136
Bibliography / 140
Subject Index / 156
Name Index / 159

 

Preface

(excerpt)

Not all people want to have children, and not having children is not a disease. But involuntary childlessness is quite a different matter. People who want to have children usually consider the ability to fulfil their desire to be a very important factor in deciding on their overall life satisfaction. Thus if they cannot have children because of health issues, there probably are few things of comparable significance in their lives, and overcoming this obstacle becomes a vital issue to them. Contemporary medicine with its sophisticated assisted reproductive technologies (ART) can address that need in a way that many regard as a kind of miracle.

On the other hand, because of the interference with the very stuff of life, assisted reproductive technology has raised many problems concerning its medical, ethical, social, economic and legal aspects. Some of them have become genuine dilemmas addressed by a whole range of incongruous approaches founded on various philosophical stances. Yet the main objective of assisted reproduction—that is, enabling people to have children—renders it an everyday issue of essential importance to many of us, and thus the controversies ART has caused call for ongoing discussion, even if it is a practical rather than a theoretical consensus than can be reached.

In our book we take a closer look at some of the questions we consider especially puzzling, yet of great importance for ART. We have not attempted an exhaustive presentation of all ART-related issues that have been discussed since the inception of this form of medical intervention but rather have focused on the questions that seem especially worthy of inquiry as those of a fundamental significance (the status of the human embryo), as well as those related to an ART procedure performed so frequently that it concerns a broad swathe of ART cases (egg donation), to a procedure that is especially challenging morally (preimplantation genetic diagnosis), and to an ART-related problem which is very often overlooked or misrepresented (parental age).

 

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