Rivka Weinberg: The risk of a lifetime: how, when, and why procreation may be permissible
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It is commonplace in the field of reproductive ethics to engage in discussions about the moral acceptability and moral boundaries of assisted reproductive technologies—ostensibly taking for granted that everyone has the right to reproduce such that it is incumbent on medicine to make procreation possible. Rivka Weinberg offers a different perspective on the permissibility of procreation, building on the presumption that procreative acts are morally charged and involve “imposing life’s risks on whoever will have to live with them” (p. 1).
From the very beginning of her book, the author draws a distinction between the biological impulse to procreate and the moral argument for doing so. To whom is procreation beneficial—to the future child or to the future parent? This basic question is difficult to address, as Weinberg rejects the premise that mere existence is an intrinsic benefit to every human being. She delineates a step-by-step argument that for life to have intrinsic moral worth,...