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Infertility, Ethics, and the Future: An Exploration

Chapter in book
Authors Daniela Cutas
Published in The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History / edited by Gayle Davis, Tracey Loughran
Pages 609-624
ISBN 978-1-137-52080-7
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan, UK
Place of publication London
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 609-624
Language en
Keywords Ethics; Family; Gender; Reproductive technology; State
Subject categories Ethics, History


This chapter explores current and prospective reproductive technologies and some of their likely implications for reproductive and family ethics and policymaking. The technologies discussed include uterus transplants, mitochondrial transfer, ectogenesis, the development of in vitro gametes, and solo reproduction. The chapter considers the impact of these developments on the content of concepts such as ‘infertility’, ‘mother’, or ‘father’. Another layer to this process of redefinition originates in ongoing socio-cultural changes that shift the focus in parenting from the way in which children have come into the world, to relationships within the family. Considering these scenarios beforehand can help to clarify some of the current challenges in defining and regulating infertility. The chapter therefore aims to raise a number of questions rather than provide answers.

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