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Early fetal gender test demands rapid ethical policymaking

n which parents influence who we become. Sex selection is therefore not introducing something radically new, although it does extend parental influence into a new dimension.
  • children as a commodity still others argue that sex selection turns the child into a commodity that has been designed to satisfy a need and thus that parents will not give their child the unconditioned love it needs. But the connections here are not inevitable, and it may equally be argued that enabling parents to have the kind of child they want increases the chances of them giving their child the love it needs.
  • Since these objections are not decisive, Baldwin concludes that the liberal argument for permitting sex selection is the reasonable position to take, though its use should be restricted for the moment to family balancing situations. When it comes to looking at methods of sex selection, Baldwin believes that there is nothing problematic in any method that does not destroy an embryo or fetus.

    Once an embryo has been implanted and allowed to develop, however, termination of the pregnancy merely for the purpose of sex selection is in principle wrong. But he accepts that the combination of new non-invasive methods of testing with over the counter hormone abortion kits will make sex selection by early abortion something that is in practice impossible to stop.

    "Since there are no straightforward victims, it is a mistake to try and enforce its prevention," says Baldwin. "We will just have to learn to live with the resulting degradation of the value of human life."

    Review Title: Baldwin, T: Understanding the opposition: Prenatal Diagnosis, DOI: 10.1002/pd.1473

    Will easier access to more effective sex selection affect gender balance? Probably not ..

    Increasing ease of travel to countries with lax rules on sex selection makes it possible for wealthy couples to have a baby of the desired sex. But surveys tha
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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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