Tag Archives: reproductive technology

Ethics and embryology – should deaf parents be allowed to choose a deaf child?

So, riddle me this: a deaf couple want a second child, and because of the woman’s age they’ll probably need to use in-vitro fertilisation techniques. No problem so far … until you find that the parents want to be able to select for a deaf child, and the UK government’s recent embryology bill will not allow them to do so.

This is a textbook ethical dilemma, but it’s the sort of thing that advances in reproductive technology and genetic engineering are going to make more commonplace. I find myself (unusually) wanting to side with the government on this one – but then I’m not a parent, and I imagine that changes your perspective quite severely.

I’ve sat here at the keyboard for about half an hour trying to formulate an argument for either side, but I can’t find anywhere I’m entirely comfortable – what do you think?