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Parental enhancement and symmetry of power in the parent–child relationship
  1. Anca Gheaus
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anca Gheaus, Department of Law, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, C/ Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27 08005 Barcelona, Spain; agheaus{at}


Many instances of parental enhancement are objectionable on egalitarian grounds because they unnecessarily amplify one kind of asymmetry of power between parents and children. Because children have full moral status, we ought to seek egalitarian relationships with them. Such relationships are compatible with asymmetries of power only to the extent to which the asymmetry is necessary for (1) advancing the child's level of advantage up to what justice requires or (2) instilling in the child morally required features. This is a ground to oppose parental enhancements whose purpose is either to merely satisfy parents' preferences or to confer on the child advantages above and beyond what the child is owed by justice.

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