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Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing$
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Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190940362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190940362.001.0001

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“Good Parents” Can Promote Their Own and Their Children’s Flourishing

“Good Parents” Can Promote Their Own and Their Children’s Flourishing

(p.112) 8 “Good Parents” Can Promote Their Own and Their Children’s Flourishing
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing

Josephine Johnston

Oxford University Press

Advances in genetic technology, including new methods for gene editing, promise to provide parents and prospective parents with more information about and more control over the genetic make-up of their children. Information and control are both highly prized in our culture, and both could offer substantial benefits to parents and children. Yet offers of information and control that promise to benefit children can quickly generate new parental responsibilities, morphing from opportunities to obligations and raising the question whether refusing to use the technologies might one day be considered inconsistent with being a “good parent.” This chapter explores the idea of the good parent and argues that understandings of the good parent must evolve to take parents’ own flourishing into account. Only with this richer understanding of the nature and responsibilities of parenting can we adopt technologies such as gene editing in ways that benefit both parents and children.

Keywords:   gene editing, parents, responsibility, choice, control, values

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