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Is There a Constitutional Right to Select the Genes of One's Offspring?

65 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2010 Last revised: 13 Jul 2014

Andrew Coan

University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: October 24, 2010

Abstract

The United States Supreme Court has long recognized a due process right to make deeply personal decisions such as whether to bear or beget a child. Might this right extend to selecting the genes of one’s offspring? Perhaps more important, should courts interpret it to do so? Thus far, discussion of these questions has focused almost exclusively on the normative goals reproductive liberty should be taken to embrace. That is undoubtedly an important issue, but it cannot tell us whether courts are the institution best suited to carry any particular goal into effect. This is a basic but frequently over-looked point in constitutional analysis and one that has received next to no attention in the context of assisted reproductive technologies. This Article begins to remedy the oversight. In so doing, it has two overlapping goals: to enrich the constitutional analysis of emerging issues in reproductive liberty and to use those issues as a vehicle for exploring the complexities of institutional analysis more generally.

Keywords: ART, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Procreative Liberty, Reproductive Liberty, Reproductive, Reproductive Rights, Institutional Analysis, Comparative Institutional Analysis, Comparative Institutional Competence, Institutional Choice

JEL Classification: H10, H11, D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Coan, Andrew, Is There a Constitutional Right to Select the Genes of One's Offspring? (October 24, 2010). 63 Hastings Law Journal 233; Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1144. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1697347

Andrew Coan (Contact Author)

University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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