Response to ‘A relational approach to Saviour Siblings?’ by Selgelid

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Abstract

In his concise argument, ‘A relational approach to saviour siblings?’, Selgelid reiterates some of the arguments raised in the author meets critics discussion of my book, Saviour Siblings. In this response, I highlight an important misunderstanding in one of the arguments put forward by Selgelid, which forms the basis of a large portion of his analysis. Contrary to what Selgelid contends, I do not use the deafness case in my discussion of the non-identity problem to contend that the case of selecting for deafness is ethically different from the case of saviour siblings. As I state in my reply, I use the case of deafness not as a comparator for saviour siblings but rather to illustrate the different categories of risk that apply in selection cases. Given this confusion, I restate my objection to relying on the non-identity problem in evaluating risk of harm associated with the embryo biopsy process for preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Finally, I reiterate that the individual interests of saviour siblings remain important in the decision-making matrix and emphasise that Saviour Siblings offers a more contextualised approach to the welfare of the child in selective reproduction, which includes both individual and collective interests.

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