Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The Future of Human Reproduction: Ethics, Choice and Regulation
  1. Juliet Tizzard
  1. Director, Progress Educational Trust, London

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Edited by John Harris and Soren Holm, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1998, 254 pages, £35.00.

    It is often the case that the subheading of a book is more revealing than its title. The Future of Human Reproduction is not really about the future of human reproduction. Apart from John Harris's projections into the future, most of the book is concerned with the present of human reproduction. The subheading, instead, tells us more. Harris and Holm's collection is about choice; about who should decide and why, about whether the state should regulate our choices and even about whether choice is such a desirable thing after all.

    This theme fits well into today's debate on medical ethics in general and reproductive ethics in particular. Choice is no longer viewed as necessarily a good thing. Instead, it is often regarded as problematic, bringing with it dilemmas, confusion and even guilt. At the very least, choice means valuing one thing over another. As Jonathan Glover observes in his impressive chapter on eugenics: “As soon as we start choosing at all, we enter a zone of great moral difficulty where there are important boundaries to be drawn”.

    Many of the contributors to The Future of Human Reproduction are …

    View Full Text