Parental Responsibility in the Context of Neuroscience and Genetics

  • Kristien Hens
  • Daniela Cutas
  • Dorothee Horstkötter

Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 69)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Kristien Hens, Daniela Cutas, Dorothee Horstkötter
    Pages 1-12
  3. Gunnar Björnsson, Bengt Brülde
    Pages 13-33
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 237-246

About this book


Should parents aim to make their children as normal as possible to increase their chances to “fit in”?  Are neurological and mental health conditions a part of children’s identity and if so, should parents aim to remove or treat these? Should they aim to instill self-control in their children? Should prospective parents take steps to insure that, of all the children they could have, they choose the ones with the best likely start in life?

This volume explores all of these questions and more. Against the background of recent findings and expected advances in neuroscience and genetics, the extent and limits of parental responsibility are increasingly unclear. Awareness of the effects of parental choices on children’s wellbeing, as well as evolving norms about the moral status of children, have further increased expectations from (prospective) parents to take up and act on their changing responsibilities. The contributors discuss conceptual issues such as the meaning and sources of moral responsibility, normality, treatment, and identity. They also explore more practical issues such as how responsibility for children is practiced in Yoruba culture in Nigeria or how parents and health professionals in Belgium perceive the dilemmas generated by prenatal diagnosis.


biological pathology biological-genetic baseline-risks childhood brain development mental pathology neuroscience and genetics parental responsibility

Editors and affiliations

  • Kristien Hens
    • 1
  • Daniela Cutas
    • 2
  • Dorothee Horstkötter
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious StudiesUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Department of Health, Ethics and Society School of Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS)University of MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

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