‘Designer Babies’, Instrumentalisation and the Child’s Right to an Open Future

  • Stephen Wilkinson


In recent years, there has been a great deal of public debate about the creation of so-called ‘designer babies’. This somewhat sensationalist expression is in many respects unsatisfactory. It does however provide a useful and widely recognised shorthand for a range of reproductive practices and for a particular set of concerns relating to those practices. There are three main reasons why the ‘designer babies’ debate merits attention. The first is simply the enormous public interest in reproductive technology as evidenced by copious news reports and television and radio programmes on the subject. The second is that it raises a number of important theoretical issues. The third is that it has obvious relevance to the development of legislation and public policy. This chapter aims to explain what the ‘designer babies’ debate is and to critically assess two of the main arguments for prohibiting the creation of ‘designer babies’.


Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Open Future Deaf Child Lesbian Couple Diamond Blackfan Anaemia 
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© Stephen Wilkinson 2005

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  • Stephen Wilkinson

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