Political Science Publications

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Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy


Children conceived in order to donate biological material to save the life of an already existing child are known as 'saviour siblings'. The primary reasons that have been offered against the practice are: (i) creating a saviour sibling has negative impacts on the created child and (ii) creating a saviour child represents a wrongful procreative motivation of the parents. In this paper we examine to what extent the creation of saviour siblings actually presents a special case in procreative ethics. Although we do not deny that there is a unique feature present in the saviour sibling case—namely, that the child was created to save their sibling’s life, we argue that the distinctive feature of being a saviour sibling does not make the procreative act wrong. Our claim is that the features that would make the creation of a particular saviour sibling (im)permissible are the same features that would make the creation of any child (im)permissible. Our conclusion is that saviour siblings—in relation to the reasons for the (im)permissibility of their creation—are not a special case for procreative ethics.



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