•  14
    In a recent article in this journal, Alex Mullock, Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Dunja Begović provide an analysis of gestational surrogacy and uterus transplantation (UTx) from the perspective of those who may decide to act as gestational surrogates and womb donors, referred to as ‘womb-givers’. In this article, I advance two sets of claims aimed at critically engaging with some aspects of their analysis. Firstly, I argue that the expression ‘womb-givers’ obscures the biologically, socially and p…Read more
  •  9
    Age-discriminated IVF Access and Evidence-based Ageism: Is There a Better Way?
    with James Rupert Fletcher
    Science, Technology, and Human Values 47 (5): 986-1010. 2022.
    Access to state-funded fertility treatments is age-restricted in many countries based on epidemiological evidence showing age-associated fertility decline and aimed at administering scarce resources. In this article, we consider whether age-related restrictions can be considered ageist and what this entails for a normative appraisal of access criteria. We use the UK as a case study due to the state-funded and centrally regulated nature of in vitro fertilization provision. We begin by reviewing c…Read more
  •  9
    Assisted gestative technologies, or on treating unlike cases alike
    Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (7): 452-453. 2022.
    In the paper Assisted Gestative Technologies, Elizabeth Chloe Romanis advocates for the creation of a new category, which includes technological interventions that allow ‘persons who want to reproduce, potentially using their own genetic material, but are unable, or potentially unwilling, to undertake gestation’.1 Romanis conceptualises these technologies as a unified kind, a ‘genus’, and argues that they ‘collectively raise distinct ethical, legal and social issues from those related to assiste…Read more
  •  28
    In a recent article in this journal, Kathryn MacKay advances a defence of ectogenesis that is grounded in this technology’s potential to end—or at least mitigate the effects of—gender-based oppression. MacKay raises important issues concerning the socialization of women as ‘mothers’, and the harms that this socialization causes. She also considers ectogenesis as an ethically preferable alternative to gestational surrogacy and uterine transplantation, one that is less harmful to women and less su…Read more
  • A Path Through the Morass
    In Matthias Braun, Hannah Schickl & Peter Dabrock (eds.), Between Moral Hazard and Legal Uncertainty: Ethical, Legal and Societal Challenges of Human Genome Editing, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden. pp. 203-225. 2018.
    In this chapter, I discuss the possibility of using genome editing technologies in the context of assisted reproduction. I present the most prominent arguments in favour of and against this use of genome editing technologies, and explore two strategies used in bioethics in the event of moral disagreement to analyse the questions at hand and to develop morally sound policies. These strategies are: the clarification of the facts regarding a new technology and the formulation of the best philosophi…Read more
  •  16
    Can bioethics be an honest way of making a living? A reflection on normativity, governance and expertise
    with Silvia Camporesi
    Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (3): 159-163. 2021.
    The authority of bioethics as a field of inquiry and of bioethicists as scholars with a distinctive expertise is being questioned on various fronts. Sarah Franklin’s 2019 Nature commentary ‘Ethical research – the long and bumpy road from shirked to shared’ is the latest example. In this paper, we respond to these challenges by focusing on two key issues. First, we discuss the theory and practice of bioethics. We argue that both of these endeavours are fundamental components of this field of inqu…Read more
  •  12
    Let me begin by thanking the Journal of Medical Ethics editors and the four commentators for taking time to read, reflect and offer thoughtful comments on my paper. The issues they raise warrant careful attention. Regrettably, I am only able to address some of their key concerns due to space constraints. In my paper, ‘Gestation, Equality and Freedom: Ectogenesis as a Political Perspective’, I outline two sets of critiques of liberal defences of ectogenesis and contend that these defences are lim…Read more
  •  33
    Gestation, equality and freedom: ectogenesis as a political perspective
    Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (2): 76-82. 2020.
    The benefits of full ectogenesis, that is, the gestation of human fetuses outside the maternal womb, for women ground many contemporary authors’ arguments on the ethical desirability of this practice. In this paper, I present and assess two sets of arguments advanced in favour of ectogenesis: arguments stressing ectogenesis’ equality-promoting potential and arguments stressing its freedom-promoting potential. I argue that although successfully grounding a positive case for ectogenesis, these arg…Read more
  •  27
    The problem with reproductive freedom. Procreation beyond procreators’ interests
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (1): 131-140. 2020.
    Reproductive freedom plays a pivotal role in debates on the ethics of procreation. This moral principle protects people’s interests in procreative matters and allows them discretion over whether to have children, the number of children they have and, to a certain extent, the type of children they have. Reproductive freedom’s theoretical and political emphasis on people’s autonomy and well-being is grounded in an individual-centred framework for discussing the ethics of procreation. It protects p…Read more
  •  340
    Eugenics is often referred to in debates on the ethics of reproductive technologies and practices, in relation to the creation of moral boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable technologies, and acceptable and unacceptable uses of these technologies. Historians have argued that twentieth century eugenics cannot be reduced to a uniform set of practices, and that no simple lessons can be drawn from this complex history. Some authors stress the similarities between past eugenics and present r…Read more
  •  34
    Regulating Genome Editing: For an Enlightened Democratic Governance
    Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28 (1): 76-88. 2019.
    How should we regulate genome editing in the face of persistent substantive disagreement about the moral status of this technology and its applications? In this paper, we aim to contribute to resolving this question. We first present two diametrically opposed possible approaches to the regulation of genome editing. A first approach, which we refer to as “elitist,” is inspired by Joshua Greene’s work in moral psychology. It aims to derive at an abstract theoretical level what preferences people w…Read more
  •  49
    In this paper, we argue that lesbian couples who wish to have children who are genetically related to both of them should be allowed access to mitochondrial replacement techniques. First, we provide a brief explanation of mitochondrial diseases and MRTs. We then present the reasons why MRTs are not, by nature, therapeutic. The upshot of the view that MRTs are non-therapeutic techniques is that their therapeutic potential cannot be invoked for restricting their use only to those cases where a mit…Read more
  •  31
    In a recent paper – Lesbian motherhood and mitochondrial replacement techniques: reproductive freedom and genetic kinship – we argued that lesbian couples who wish to have children who are genetically related to both of them should be allowed access to mitochondrial replacement techniques. Françoise Baylis wrote a reply to our paper –‘No’ to lesbian motherhood using human nuclear genome transfer– where she challenges our arguments on the use of MRTs by lesbian couples, and on MRTs more generally…Read more
  •  45
    BackgroundThis article explores the reasons in favour of revising and extending the current 14-day statutory limit to maintaining human embryos in culture. This limit is enshrined in law in over a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom. In two recently published studies, scientists have shown that embryos can be sustained in vitro for about 13 days after fertilisation. Positive reactions to these results have gone hand in hand with calls for revising the 14-day rule, which only allows emb…Read more
  •  15
    Migration and Cooperative Infrastructures
    Philosophy and Technology 32 (3): 425-444. 2019.
    A proper understanding of the moral and political significance of migration requires a focus on global inequalities. More specifically, it requires a focus on those global inequalities that affect people’s ability to participate in the production of economic goods and non-economic goods. We call cooperative infrastructures the complex material and immaterial technologies that allow human beings to cooperate in order to generate human goods. By enabling migrants to access high-quality cooperative…Read more
  •  12
    J. Benjamin Hurlbut’s book Experiments in Democracy: Human Embryo Research and the Politics of Bioethics is an historiographical analysis of the American debate over embryo research. It covers more than four decades of this debate and uses key actors, bodies, and events as empirical evidence for its analysis. At a first glance, it might seem like a book that tells a story, but Experiments in Democracy is much more than that. Hurlbut uses the chapters of this narrative as case studies through whi…Read more
  •  57
    Genome editing and assisted reproduction: curing embryos, society or prospective parents?
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (2): 215-225. 2018.
    This paper explores the ethics of introducing genome-editing technologies as a new reproductive option. In particular, it focuses on whether genome editing can be considered a morally valuable alternative to preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Two arguments against the use of genome editing in reproduction are analysed, namely safety concerns and germline modification. These arguments are then contrasted with arguments in favour of genome editing, in particular with the argument of the child’s we…Read more