INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Moral Dilemmas

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
Message
Author
mdean
Posts: 26
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 4:56 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#61 Post by mdean » March 12th, 2008, 12:48 am

Latest post of the previous page:

When you choose to have a child it is a selfish act anyway. This is them selfishly wanting to choose that their kid be deaf.
Interesting idea. I'm not a parent but I would have thought that most parents want what they perceive is best for their prospective child. Within the deaf community the assumption 'deaf is bad' need not always apply.

But I think there is a wider principle at stake here as I said. Who should determine what characteristics are desirable? the parents? the courts? the HFEA? legislation?

What counts as a disability? People with ginger hair have a higher chance of skin cancer so if I have two embryos, one ginger, do I go for the one with the lower risk? If I can find an IQ gene how could I allow an embryo with an IQ potential of 90 to be born rather than one with an IQ potential of 150?

Forgive the facetious examples but I do have concerns with a 'slippery slope' argument.

As a humanist I believe that all human life has value. Our genetic diversity is to be celebrated. Not only from the the point of view of genomic utility (variable resistance to disease, use as an evolutionary engine etc) but also in out shared ethic. The fact that you can do something that I can't and I can do something that you can't increases out interdependence on each other and that increases our chance of behaving towards one another in a mutually beneficial way.

We are lucky that we live in a time when technology can redefine the boarders of disability.

The assumptions of normal should be challenged! That is what this couple are doing.

Viv la difference.

FloatingBoater
Posts: 189
Joined: September 16th, 2007, 11:50 am

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#62 Post by FloatingBoater » March 12th, 2008, 3:06 pm

I think that watning to produce another human being with a sensory defect that if in the earlystages of human evolution would have rendered the individual concerned less likely to survive in its natural environment has to be seen as morally wrong. Of course in todays world the effects of such a handicap have been mitigated by scientific and cultural advancements. Has the couple wondered how this person will react if told at some later date that their deafness was actually a genetically designed feature?
I think they are unwise at best, malicious at worst. Who I wonder, do they expect to fund the childs educational development and future facilities that have to be provided so that their child wil have every available opportunity to live a full and useful life: Jo Public!
Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#63 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » March 12th, 2008, 6:05 pm

FloatingBoater wrote:Has the couple wondered how this person will react if told at some later date that their deafness was actually a genetically designed feature?
But it wouldn't be a genetically designed feature. There wouldn't have been the choice to have had the same child without the deaf gene. The choice would have been between that child and a different one. Are you suggesting that the child might decide that they wish they'd never been born? I can see that that might be true in some circumstances. But I don't really see why someone who was born deaf would be more likely to think that than someone who was born hearing.

Emma

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#64 Post by Alan H » March 13th, 2008, 6:46 am

I think it was in the The Times article that I commented that they should leave it to the child to decide [---][/---] go for the hearing embryo, let the child grow up and then at some point the child can decide whether to have an operation to make it deaf. Eminently sensible, I thought, but they never printed it.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#65 Post by Nick » March 13th, 2008, 12:15 pm

I have to agree with Alan C. (and others) on this one. Deafness is a disability. It is an utter disgrace to choose to screen for a deaf child. I can accept that they may not want to be screened, or may want a child, even if it were 100% certain to be deaf, but to deliberately deprive a child of hearing is appalling.

I was just going to say much the same as Alan H, but saw his small post as I was about to type. I would go on to say that I have heard of a medical condition which causes people to seek amputations, but I have never heard of anyone requesting to be made deaf.

More later...

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#66 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » March 13th, 2008, 2:00 pm

Nick wrote:I can accept that they may not want to be screened, or may want a child, even if it were 100% certain to be deaf, but to deliberately deprive a child of hearing is appalling.
But it's not deliberately depriving a child of hearing! It's deliberately inflicting life and personhood on an embryo that's bound to develop into a deaf child. There is a difference. The second may still be ethically wrong, but if it is, we need a different argument.

And yes, it's also deliberately refusing life and personhood to an embryo that probably would have ended up being a hearing child, but that happens all the time with IVF, and no one outside the Catholic church seems to have a problem with it.

Emma

FloatingBoater
Posts: 189
Joined: September 16th, 2007, 11:50 am

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#67 Post by FloatingBoater » March 13th, 2008, 4:19 pm

Doesn't it scare anyone that just because we can, make a genetic selection we must go against what any rational mind would want for all humans, ie be born best equipped to live a full life without impedement. I'm only too pleased these options were not avaiable during the Third Reich (apologies to TH :wink: ).
I cant think of anything more abhorent than to suggest that one human has more 'human rights' than another, as in the case of the parents vs the unborn.
Something else that disturbs me is this politically-(in)correct propensity to gradate people into 'communities' as though to imply some sort otherness whether they want it or not; like referring to the deaf person as belonging to a specific ''deaf community'' through no fault or desire of their own; for goodness sake, If I were to suddenly go deaf - that would be isolation enough.
The last thing I would want, would to be thought of as so 'different' from everyone else that I have to be considered an outsider. It sems that all my life I and my peers have been educated into not categorising people because of skin colour, background, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
Now it seems, that this logic is being reversed, and superceeded by arguing for support for the parent's 'right of choice'.
For my pennyworth, this is a clear example of the tail wagging the dog.
Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.

User avatar
wizzy
Posts: 149
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 7:54 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#68 Post by wizzy » March 14th, 2008, 11:22 pm

I am very uncomfortable with any selection either for or against many characteristics, including deafness. I can see that if a child was going to be severely disabled to the extent that they had no semblence of normal life and were going to be huge burden on their parents for the rest of their life, then that would be undesirable, but other than that I think it should be left to chance.

I'm not in favour of selecting for deafness or against. This is getting too close to the idea of designer babies. Plus I just know that if a gay gene was identified and the option was available to select against it then so many people would choose to do so. I know people on here will argue that deafness is a disability and homosexuality isn't, but I expect that there are plenty of people in the wider world who do think that homosexuality is a disability (or equivalent), and some deaf people who would not class deafness as a disability.

MHB
Posts: 32
Joined: February 22nd, 2008, 1:31 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#69 Post by MHB » March 15th, 2008, 12:08 am

wizzy wrote:This is getting too close to the idea of designer babies.
I hope this doesn't seem off topic - which has been interesting - but I think it is very likely that the end result of human evolution is going to be computer evolution. Once they can truly think they will eliminate whatever flaws remain in their programing, put homo sapiens out to pasture and replicate themselves and go off into the universe. Human beings will have been just a small step in consciousness evolving into a form where the "shell" surrounding consciousness is much less susceptible to faults and defects. I'm less worried about designer babies than thinking, replicating computers!

User avatar
grammar king
Posts: 869
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:42 am

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#70 Post by grammar king » March 18th, 2008, 1:07 pm

I have a blog entry called Reverse Eugenics (here) where there's a discussion going on about this issue of selecting characteristics during IVF. The guy has something of a biotechnological background, I think, but it's a bit 2 way at the moment, so any other input into the conversation would be welcome.

I personally am not at ease at all about screening embryos during IVF. It paves the way to designer babies and eugenics.

Bryn
Posts: 665
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:47 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#71 Post by Bryn » March 20th, 2008, 7:01 pm

Since there's a bit of a lull, here's another real life one. What would you do if you were this teenage boy?

>>My dad's Christmas present to my mother was a two day shopping spree in Buffalo, USA with a 2000 USD spending limit. Nice huh? Except that my sister and I were to stay home, don't go anywhere, don't ahve anybody over, and we all win.

Well, my sister brought two friends over nearly an hour after they left this morning. No problem, the parents won't find out, and I'm to "keep quiet". My sister and her friends are 14 years old. Preppy people, walk the straight and narrow, or so I thought.

They're all my responsibility since I'm in charge of the property and I come in from getting wood for the fireplace to find my sister and her friends with two empty beers, and a joint. They were all taking part, as well as watching porn.

For some, this may seem like nothing. But this is my sister and they're my responsibilities. I absolutely abhor any sort of drug/alcohol and I don't want to ruin my parent's little vacation but I'm in a bind. Not only did my sister bring in two more people for me to have to look over, but I caught them drinking, smoking up and watching porn on the satellite (which is a 6.99$ PPV, too).

However, she begs me not to tell and if I do, she says she'll blackmail me with me leaving the house for about 20 minutes to catch some fresh air. My parents are very anal and they, as most here would now know, overreact and flip out batshit fucking insanely.

I'm worried about what they'll do to her. If they're willing to break down my door and kick me out of the house for a day on my birthday, what would they do to her for all this?<<

User avatar
Hot Thought
Posts: 38
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 8:59 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#72 Post by Hot Thought » March 22nd, 2008, 8:11 pm

Hi, I see no reason for you to feel guilty here, after all you can't be expected to stay in the house for a whole 2 days as you are not been hired as a security guard.

If your parents ask you whether your sister had anyone over then
I would tell them that when you came home her friends were there watching tv and leave it at that.

If they notice the porn tab on the satellite then I would not take the rap for your sister but say that it must have been her when you were out getting the wood.

You shouldn't be expected to lie for you sister here if you don't want to. And your sisters behaviour over 2 days is not something that anyone can totally control. How your parents react and whether this is conducive to changing your sisters behaviour is something that you have little control of too. But if you don't think that their reactions are going to help the situation then there is no harm in telling them just that.

That is how I would be thinking anyhow. Tricky situation though.

J

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#73 Post by Alan C. » March 22nd, 2008, 8:41 pm

:wave: Welcome Hot Thought, I don't have a good memory for faces, but I feel sure we've met before :D
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Fran
Posts: 82
Joined: September 2nd, 2007, 5:23 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#74 Post by Fran » March 23rd, 2008, 11:55 am

The assumptions of normal should be challenged! That is what this couple are doing.
Yes, but I think this is where their perception of 'normal' isn't sufficiently qualified to deliberately choose a deaf child over a hearing one (If that is what they were doing, and I confess I'm not quite sure). Although, happily, they have been able to overcome their disability and enjoy a happy, meaningful life, how can it be right to create a child with no possibility of hearing, for example, Verdi's Requiem?

And I hope you all noted that they felt that their child should be 'as God intended'. They'll be waiting a b**** long time for God to organise the IVF treatment!

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#75 Post by Alan H » March 23rd, 2008, 1:16 pm

Alan C. wrote:I feel sure we've met before
I'm sure you two must be closely related. :D
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Hot Thought
Posts: 38
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 8:59 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#76 Post by Hot Thought » March 23rd, 2008, 11:46 pm

Thanks Alan, I suppose that we are all closely related evolutionary speaking :0)
but I have never been to the Shetlands. Although I almost went to Glasgow once
{not sure if that counts}.

J :0)

DougS
Posts: 737
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 9:48 am

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#77 Post by DougS » March 24th, 2008, 12:08 am

Hot Thought wrote:Hi, I see no reason for you to feel guilty here, after all you can't be expected to stay in the house for a whole 2 days as you are not been hired as a security guard.

If your parents ask you whether your sister had anyone over then
I would tell them that when you came home her friends were there watching tv and leave it at that.

If they notice the porn tab on the satellite then I would not take the rap for your sister but say that it must have been her when you were out getting the wood.

You shouldn't be expected to lie for you sister here if you don't want to. And your sisters behaviour over 2 days is not something that anyone can totally control. How your parents react and whether this is conducive to changing your sisters behaviour is something that you have little control of too. But if you don't think that their reactions are going to help the situation then there is no harm in telling them just that.

That is how I would be thinking anyhow. Tricky situation though.

J
I think that's good advice. We don't know how old the lad is but he is not the girl's father and actually she is not his responsibility - at least he should not be expected to have any control over her actions. All he can do is keep an eye on her. If I were her brother, I'd keep mum and remind her when necessary that she owes me one.

Jem
Posts: 973
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:37 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#78 Post by Jem » March 24th, 2008, 11:23 am

I'd say, "Don't tell your parents. I had a party once when my parents were out of town (I was 15) and my sister told my parents. All it did was piss my parents off and made me not trust my sister any more. Your sister is just experimenting. Better she do it at home with a couple of girlfriends than out in the backseat of some bloke's car. I think it's far more important for her to trust you so that if the experimentation gets out of hand (and it sounds like it won't), THEN you can step in and help. To rat on her now would just turn her away from you completely."

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#79 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » March 25th, 2008, 5:01 pm

I don't understand the situation. If his parents are so strait-laced, what are they doing with satellite access to porn?

Emma
(Thinking of changing my avatar. It's like a Bornean rain forest in here!)

User avatar
wattsll
Posts: 57
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 5:07 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#80 Post by wattsll » March 25th, 2008, 5:34 pm

Maybe you answered your own question, Emma.

Perhaps because they're so strait-laced, they didn't even consider that their kids would use it to access porn. Maybe they never bothered to lock that function. Naieve on their part, but possible.

In regards to the dillema posted...The easy way out is for the brother to obviously ignore the situation or even participate. Given the scenario though it's apparent that this is unlikely. He abhors drugs and alcohol, and has shown enough maturity that his parents left him in charge of the house and their teenage daughter. The not so easy route, but IMO the best one for everyone, would be to ask his sisters friend's to leave and take the 'contraband' with them. Provide boundaries to his sister in no uncertain terms. She may initially be upset, but I think in the long run she'll respect him more, if he is consistant in enforcing them. If she shows that she can maintain the boundaries, he should have no reason to call mom and dad home early. If she continues to break the household rules, then he really has no choice in the matter. To ignore the situation will only enable her more.

The best action when the parents get home would probably be to discuss the situation with them rationally, explain what was done, how his sister reacted etc. If his sister behaved for the rest of the trip, he could ask them to be lenient or quiet on the matter, and trust in the fact that the situation shouldn't repeat. At that point, the decision is in the parent's hands with all the relavant facts. The brother has done all that can be expected. Maybe not the most popular choice with his sister if the parents still go berserk...but then all responsibility lies in the parents hands, not the older brother's (as it ultimately should...)

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Moral Dilemmas

#81 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » March 25th, 2008, 7:22 pm

wattsll wrote:Maybe you answered your own question, Emma.

Perhaps because they're so strait-laced, they didn't even consider that their kids would use it to access porn. Maybe they never bothered to lock that function. Naieve on their part, but possible.
I'm sorry, I don't really know how satellite TV works, let alone pay-per-view. I didn't realise it was possible to access a porn channel if you hadn't already set it up to do that. It wouldn't have occurred to me to lock a porn function if I hadn't asked for that function in the first place.
wattsll wrote:The best action when the parents get home would probably be to discuss the situation with them rationally, explain what was done, how his sister reacted etc.
I don't think these parents sound like they're very rational people, if they broke down their son's door and then kicked him out of the house on his birthday, and yet won't let him leave the house when they go away for a couple of days. There's something odd about this dilemma. Either it's completely fabricated, or the teenage boy is not telling the whole truth, or ... or something. It just doesn't ring true.

Emma

Post Reply