Artificial Reproduction

Artificial reproduction has until now only been used for the treatment of infertility or prevention of genetic disease. However there is an increasing number of new uses: 1) to enable HIV positive women to have a child; 2) for HIV discordant couples where the male partner is HIV positive; 3) to enable gay couples or single women; 4) freezing eggs and embryos for lifestyle reasons. Are these permissible? More radical forms of artificial reproduction are imminent.

Reproductive cloning is the best known but there are other potential ways in which humans could reproduce: formation of haploid cells from diploid cells, parthenogenesis, etc. Stem cell technology could be used to produces gametes, which would mean same sex couples could produce gametes through cloning and stem cell technology which could be used to produce an individual with a mix of genetic material from both. Human embryos produced by cloning could be fused to also produce an offspring which is a genetic mix of two existing individuals of the same sex.

Which ethical principles should govern reproduction? This project aims to examine the nature and limits of procreative autonomy, procreative beneficence (the obligation to have the best child), the public interest in regulating reproduction and genetic selection, and the interests of children produced as a result of artificial reproduction and the new genetics.