Non-medical sex selection: ethical issues

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IntroductionThis paper aims to provide a concise review of the ethical issues that are commonly raised in the UK debate on non-medical sex selection. Background information on sex selection technologies is provided, as is a description of the relevant UK legislation. Arguments for and against non-medical sex selection will be explained and compared and conclusions will be drawn. It is finally suggested that the international debate on non-medical sex selection ought to be regarded as an important area of related interest.Sources of dataData were obtained from a search of existing ethics and policy literature focusing on sex selection.Areas of agreementThere are very few areas of universal agreement in the debate.Areas of controversyThere is much disagreement between critics over what harms are likely to be caused by sex selection and whether such harms are morally significant. The issue of whether governments can legitimately place limitations upon individual reproductive autonomy, and if so, to what degree, remains controversial.

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