Saviour Siblings: A Relational Approach to the Welfare of the Child in Selective Reproduction (Hardback) book cover

Saviour Siblings

A Relational Approach to the Welfare of the Child in Selective Reproduction

By Michelle Taylor-Sands

© 2014 – Routledge

194 pages

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Paperback: 9781138935310
pub: 2015-08-21
Hardback: 9780415535717
pub: 2013-10-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203708705
pub: 2013-10-30
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Genetic screening technologies involving pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) raise particular issues about selective reproduction and the welfare of the child to be born. How does selection impact on the identity of the child who is born? Are children who are selected for a particular purpose harmed or treated as commodities? How far should the state interfere with parents’ reproductive choices?

Currently, concerns about the welfare of the child in selective reproduction have focused on the individual interests of the child to be born. This book re-evaluates the welfare of the child through the controversial topic of saviour sibling selection. Drawing on relational feminist and communitarian ethics, Michelle Taylor-Sands argues that the welfare of the child to be born is inextricably linked with the welfare of his/her family.  The author proposes a relational model for selective reproduction based on a broad conception of the welfare of the child that includes both individual and collective family interests. By comparing regulation in the UK and Australia, the book maps out how law and policy might support a relational model for saviour sibling selection.

With an interdisciplinary focus, Saviour Siblings: A Relational Approach to the Welfare of the Child in Selective Reproduction will be of particular interest to academics and students of bioethics and law as well as practitioners and policymakers concerned with the ethics of selective reproduction.


"Michelle Taylor-Sands’ new book cuts through debate by arguing that the focus of each of these opposing positions is unduly individualistic, and that we should instead focus upon the interests of the family within which the child will live." - Emily Jackson, Journal of Medical Ethics (2014)

"One of Taylor-Sands’ most interesting suggestions is that there might a difference between selecting a (future) child because it is congenitally deaf and some other forms of selective reproduction." - Wilkinson for Journal of Medical Ethics (2014)

"I think Taylor-Sands may be onto something with her claim that it is more honest to admit that many medical decisions are made not for the benefit of the patient, but because they confer enormous benefit on others at little cost to the patients themselves." - Gavaghan for Journal of Medical Ethics (2014)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Selective Reproduction: Ethics and the law 3. The Welfare of the Child to be Born 4. A Relational Approach to the Welfare of the Child 5. A Relational Model for Selective Reproduction 6. A Relational Framework for Regulating Saviour Sibling Selection 7. Conclusion

About the Author

Michelle Taylor-Sands is a senior lecturer in the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne and has advised the Victoria government on assisted reproductive treatment. Michelle is published in the field of saviour sibling selection and the welfare of the child to be born.

About the Series

Biomedical Law and Ethics Library

Scientific and clinical advances, social and political developments and the impact of healthcare on our lives raise profound ethical and legal questions. Medical law and ethics have become central to our understanding of these problems, and are important tools for the analysis and resolution of problems – real or imagined.

In this series, scholars at the forefront of biomedical law and ethics will contribute to the debates in this area, with accessible, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas. Each book in the series will develop an independent hypothesis and argue cogently for a particular position. One of the major contributions of this series is the extent to which both law and ethics are utilised in the content of the books, and the shape of the series itself.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Comparative
LAW / Family Law / Children
LAW / Health
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation
MEDICAL / Ethics
MEDICAL / Genetics