Ethical Considerations of Nonmedical Preconception Gender Selection Research
Author(s)Sternke, Lisa Marie, PhD(c), MSN, RN
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AbstractTechnological advances in reproductive science now afford prospective parents the ability to potentially choose the gender of their infant prior to conception; however, the bioethical considerations of preconception gender selection (PGS) research remain an ongoing debate in the scientific community. Opponents of PGS research argue it is unethical as it has the potential to cause a sex ratio imbalance, its availability is restricted to those with financial means, it promotes gender discrimination, and it may lead to further genetic discrimination based on desired traits (eugenics). Proponents of PGS research argue it is a parental right to choose the sex of a child, it could reduce atrocities toward unwanted children and the number of abortions, and it could assist in family balancing. Based on eleven bioethical concepts, it appears researchers may be unethically capitalizing on the emotional vulnerability of prospective parents in order to further genetic research into PGS for nonmedical reasons.