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Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, the Non-Identity Problem, and Genetic Parenthood

Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, the Non-Identity Problem, and Genetic Parenthood Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) are designed to allow couples to have children without passing on mitochondrial diseases. Recently, Giulia Cavaliere and César Palacios-González argued that prospective parents have the right to use MRTs to pursue genetic relatedness, such that some same-sex couples and/or polygamous triads could use the process to impart genetic relatedness between a child and more of its caregivers. Although MRTs carry medical risks, Cavaliere and Palacios-González contend that because MRTs are identity-affecting, they do not cause harm to an existing human being, and our intuitions otherwise arise from the non-identity problem. Here, I review several attempts to address the non-identity problem, and propose a solution to the problem. Furthermore, I argue that regardless of one’s stance on whether MRTs are identity-affecting, the use of MRTs to pursue genetic relatedness alone falls outside the scope of the medical profession, as they involve substantive medical risk for no medical benefit. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Bioethics Review Springer Journals

Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, the Non-Identity Problem, and Genetic Parenthood

Asian Bioethics Review , Volume 13 (3) – May 8, 2021

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © National University of Singapore and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021
ISSN
1793-8759
eISSN
1793-9453
DOI
10.1007/s41649-021-00176-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) are designed to allow couples to have children without passing on mitochondrial diseases. Recently, Giulia Cavaliere and César Palacios-González argued that prospective parents have the right to use MRTs to pursue genetic relatedness, such that some same-sex couples and/or polygamous triads could use the process to impart genetic relatedness between a child and more of its caregivers. Although MRTs carry medical risks, Cavaliere and Palacios-González contend that because MRTs are identity-affecting, they do not cause harm to an existing human being, and our intuitions otherwise arise from the non-identity problem. Here, I review several attempts to address the non-identity problem, and propose a solution to the problem. Furthermore, I argue that regardless of one’s stance on whether MRTs are identity-affecting, the use of MRTs to pursue genetic relatedness alone falls outside the scope of the medical profession, as they involve substantive medical risk for no medical benefit.

Journal

Asian Bioethics ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: May 8, 2021

Keywords: Reproductive freedom; Genetic relatedness; Mitochondrial replacement; Non-identity problem; Parallel cases

References