Reproductive technology is an issue that grows more complicated and more controversial each day. Some experts believe that imminent reproductive techniques, like human cloning and germ-line genetic engineering, pose the risk of injuries so frequent and so serious that they should be prohibited completely. Others believe this technology has endless medical possibilities and should be used to its fullest potential. A new book by a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher helps create a road map for determining when and how to regulate risky reproductive technologies on behalf of future children.
“The premise of this book is that the interests of future children are frequently misunderstood,” said Philip Peters, MU professor of law and director of the MU Biotechnology and Society Program. His book, How Safe is Safe Enough? Obligations to the Children of Reproductive Technology, was published recently by Oxford University Press. “Confusion arises because children who owe their lives to a life-inducing technology, yet are born with injuries, could not have been born without their injuries. For them, the only alternative to life with their injuries was never living at all. Daunted by this comparison, regulators rely instead on their untutored instincts or else leave the matter entirely to the fertility industry.”
In his book, Peters offers lawmakers a coherent and comprehensive framework for identifying the circumstances in which the use of a life-inducing procedure places the interests of the resulting child in jeopardy. Peters provides a plan for balancing those risks against the procreative liberty of prospective parents.
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