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With heartfelt thanks to the journal and my critics in this forum, I turn to the nearly impossible task of replying—however incompletely—to four commentaries within 1000 words.
Regarding the non-identity problem in the context of reproductive choices, Leslie Francis asserts that “for disability rights advocates, [DeGrazia's analysis] is profoundly disturbing.1 It assumes that the world is a better place if it lacks an individual with a significant disability and instead contains a different individual [who lacks this disability but is otherwise similar],” although both have full moral status and, presumably, lives worth living. In my view, the procreative decisions in question—explaining the apparent wrongness of which constitutes the non-identity problem in this context—are morally comparable with cases in which parents knowingly or negligently allow an already-existing child to acquire a significant disability (eg, blindness, paraplegia) that she did not already have, which is surely wrong. Without a compelling argument against the claim of comparability between the two types of choices, my critic seems much less well positioned than I am to make evaluative sense of these cases. I stand by my position. A significant disability does not necessarily make an individual's life go worse than it otherwise would, especially where social structures and accommodations are appropriately arranged. But to …
Disclaimer This work was supported, in part, by intramural funds from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. The views expressed here are the author's own. They do not represent the position or policy of NIH, the US Public Health Service, or the Department of Health and Human Services.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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