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Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Bioethics | 1 comment

UK bioethicists defend legality of sex selection

According to this story in The Independent, two bioethicists based in the UK, Eve Garrard and Stephen Wilkinson, have defended the practice of embryonic sex selection under the current social conditions obtaining in the UK.

I must say that I find this refreshing. The ban on technological sex selection strikes me as irrational and intrusive. The state has some interest if there is some sort of cumulative social downside under the circumstances prevailing in its jurisdiction, but this downside needs at least some reasonable evidence. No study of gender preferences of parents in Western countries has gone anywhere near demonstrating this – on the contrary, there is a body of evidence suggesting the opposite. In the absence of evidence of some sort of clear-cut harm to be avoided, the issue is no business of the state.

This is just one of the many issues that will come up for discussion in my forthcoming book Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies (to be published early in 2014 by MIT Press).