Pursuing Parenthood: Ethical Issues in Assisted Reproduction
“Paul Lauritzen has produced a closely reasoned, astute book which covers the relevant scholarly material with sympathy and fairness. Moreover, he has used his own experiences with infertility to give life and interest to the moral dilemmas he addresses. This is an original, engaging study which is an admirable model of moral reflection.” —Sidney Callahan, Ph.D., psychologist and author of In Good Conscience: Reason and Emotion in Moral Decision MakingThe new reproductive technologies offer the promise of parenthood to many for whom it has previously been denied. But is parenthood a good to be pursued at any cost? Drawing on his own experience with infertility treatment, Paul Lauritzen offers a personal and scholarly assessment of the ethical dilemmas posed by forms of assisted reproduction, including artificial insemination with husband and donor sperm, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and adoption. According to Lauritzen, the existence of reproductive technology requires us to rethink what it means to be a parent.Lauritzen begins by identifying the basic objections that have been raised to reproductive technology by the Catholic Church and others and shows why many of these criticisms are misplaced. In Part Two, he argues that critics of reproductive technology have too frequently assumed that genetic connection is the sole basis of parental obligation and suggests instead that there are other, more essential criteria for defining parenthood that provide a better standard for assessing a particular intervention. Finally, Lauritzen considers the alternative form of assisted reproduction recommended by opponents of reproductive technology, namely, adoption. By examining current adoption practice, he shows that adoption poses many of the same problems as reproductive technology.Pursuing Parenthood is a major statement on an important and emotionally charged issue that is certain to spark heated debate.
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