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Early fetal gender test demands rapid ethical policymaking

e the technology is already with us," says Guetta. In the USA, for example, some mail order products already use this sort of technology.

"Should this new technology be applied 'just because it is there'?" asks Guetta.

Review Title: Guetta, E: Noninvasive detection of fetal sex: The laboratory diagnostician's view: Prenatal Diagnosis DOI: 10.1002/pd.1478

Sex selection liberally ok, but not without problems

Sex selection fits with a liberal view of permission in reproduction, but using abortion as part of the process is much less defensible and is liable to degrade the value of human life. This is the conclusion of Thomas Baldwin who works in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York, England.

While there is reasonable acceptance of sex selection to help parents avoid passing on a genetic disease to their children, many surveys show that people do not welcome the possibility of sex selection merely to choose the sex of a child.

In order to understand the opposition to sex selection, Baldwin considers the arguments against sex selection in four key areas:

  1. religion Baldwin believes that religious arguments by themselves should not be used to drive public policy in a liberal secular state, but suggests that the main religiously-derived arguments are taken into account in secular ethical debates.
  2. social consequences some people argue that a serious objection to sex selection is that it will lead to a substantial imbalance of boys over girls within society. Baldwin, however, argues that if sex selection is primarily used for family balancing, the numbers of boys and girls in Western societies will not become unbalanced.
  3. child's autonomy it is argued that deciding a child's sex violates his or her autonomy by imposing a particular destiny on the child. Baldwin rejects this view largely by pointing out that there are many ways during our upbringing i
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Contact: Polly Young
pyoung@wiley.co.uk
44-124-377-0633
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
20-Jul-2006


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