Parental Obligations and Bioethics: The Duties of a Creator, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Parental Obligations and Bioethics

The Duties of a Creator, 1st Edition

By Bernard G. Prusak


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This book examines the question of what parental obligations procreators incur by bringing children into being. Prusak argues that parents, as procreators, have obligations regarding future children that constrain the liberty of would-be parents to do as they wish. Moreover, these obligations go beyond simply respecting a child’s rights. He addresses in turn the ethics of adoption, child support, gamete donation, surrogacy, prenatal genetic enhancement, and public responsibility for children.


"This book is a valuable addition to what is already a rich philosophical literature on the question of what we owe to those we create. Throughout Prusak's style is direct, honest, engaging, and forthright."-David Archard in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"[Prusak’s] book is educational, easy to read, and gets to the heart of many very important issues in reproductive ethics."-Jake Earl’s in Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal

"Prusak’s project is fundamentally philosophical in nature and will thereby enjoy wide-ranging applicability to a host of ethical issues concerning the parent-child relationship. Furthermore, in debating the particular bioethical issues Prusak discusses, scholars often presume certain parental obligations without the benefit of a cohesive theoretical framework that grounds various putative obligations. This volume thus offers a valuable contribution to bioethical debate on these and other issues that will invalidate certain argumentative strategies while affirming others."-Jason Eberl in Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. What Are Parents For? A Thought Experiment 2. The Costs of Procreation 3. Abortion and the Grounds of Parental Obligations 4. Whose Child? 5. Good Enough Parenting? The Child’s Right to an Open Future and the Ethics of Prenatal Genetic Enhancement 6. Back from the Future: Paying for the Priceless Child

About the Author/Editors

Bernard G. Prusak is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King’s College, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Annals of Bioethics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Ethics
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy