Genetic Dilemmas and the Child's Right to an Open Future
Hastings Center Reports
bioethics, autonomy, child's right to an open future, deaf children
Although deeply committed to the model of nondirective counseling, most genetic counselors enter the profession with certain assumptions about health and disability--for example, that it is preferable to be a hearing person than a deaf person. Thus, most genetic counselors are deeply troubled when parents with certain disabilities ask for assistance in having a child who shares their disability. This ethical challenge benefits little from viewing it as a conflict between beneficence and autonomy. The challenge is better recast as a conflict between parental autonomy and the child's future autonomy.
Dena S. Davis, Genetic Dilemmas and the Child's Right to an Open Future, 27 Hastings Center Reports 7 (March-April 1997)