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Choosing Tomorrow's ChildrenThe Ethics of Selective Reproduction$
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Stephen Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273966.001.0001

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Treating Children as Commodities

Treating Children as Commodities

Chapter:
(p.130) 5 Treating Children as Commodities
Source:
Choosing Tomorrow's Children
Author(s):

Stephen Wilkinson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273966.003.0005

This chapter evaluates the claim that selecting saviour siblings involves the wrongful instrumentalisation and/or commodification of children. It argues that such claims are generally confused and unjustified. On the best available understandings of ‘commodity’ and ‘commodification’, embryo selection does not necessarily involve treating children as commodities, nor is there much reason to believe that there is a contingent connection between embryo selection and the commodification of children. Much the same goes for instrumentalisation and the claim that embryo selection involves treating children as ‘mere means’. Embryo selection may well involve the instrumentalisation of embryos (as opposed to children) and gamete selection may well involve the instrumentalisation of gametes, but this should not be troubling for anyone who does not regard embryos or gametes as persons or ‘ends in themselves’.

Keywords:   commodification of children, embryo selection, gamete selection, instrumentalisation, saviour siblings

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