Happy Families, Consenting Couples, and Children with Dignity: Sex Selection and Saviour Siblings

39 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012

See all articles by Roger Brownsword

Roger Brownsword

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: December 5, 2011

Abstract

This article considers whether the State may legitimately restrict access to embryo-screening technologies where all relevant parties consent to the use of such procedures. It is argued that, consent notwithstanding, in a culture committed to respect for human rights, the State may legitimately claim a precautionary (or stewardship) jurisdiction. While, in the current context, such a jurisdiction might not readily justify prohibitions on the screening of embryos for sex selection or saviour sibling purposes, matters might be rather different if reproductive technologies chip away at the viability of a community of rights. Even if consent operates as a justification as between the consenting parties, it does not necessarily insulate them against legitimate State intervention – to believe otherwise is to commit the ‘fallacy of sufficiency’, over-stating the justificatory significance of consent.

Keywords: child law, family law, embryo-screening, reproductive technologies, human rights,

Suggested Citation

Brownsword, Roger, Happy Families, Consenting Couples, and Children with Dignity: Sex Selection and Saviour Siblings (December 5, 2011). Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 435-473, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1968546

Roger Brownsword (Contact Author)

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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