Professional article

Dekanting preimplantation genetic diagnosis and the saviour child: a personal memoir

ContributorsMauron, Alex
Published inBioethica Forum, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 105-107
Publication date2008

Being both an academic bioethicist and a member of a na-tional ethics body (in my case, the Swiss Bioethics Advisory Commission – NEK-CNE – from 2001 to 2007) is not always easy. The rules of the academic world favour independent thinking, speculative boldness, and examining all arguments with an open eye no matter how preposterous or politically incorrect they may appear at first sight. In «public bioethics» however, possible discourses are heavily constrained by extra-neous considerations. For one thing, the state of current law and the limits of realistic changes carry much weight. As the saying goes, la politique est l'art du possible, and what counts as possible in politics bears little relation to what counts as plausible, or at least worth discussing, in the philosophy seminar. More troublingly perhaps, arguments that cut no ice with many philosophers, or at least are considered mas-sively controversial, are sometimes treated as sacred mantras in public bioethics. Such is the concept of «human dignity». Someone only needs to assert, in the appropriately dour tone, that a particular biomedical practice is «against human dig-nity», and anyone disagreeing is facing an uphill battle.

Citation (ISO format)
MAURON, Alex. Dekanting preimplantation genetic diagnosis and the saviour child: a personal memoir. In: Bioethica Forum, 2008, vol. 1, n° 2, p. 105–107.
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Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:84256
ISSN of the journal1662-6001

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