Biomedical Ethics and Fetal Therapy
“Over the last two decades, medical researchers have become more comfortable with the idea that serious attention must be given to ethical issues when the tests of new technologies are being designed. They have come to see that experimental trials must meet certain standards, not only of scientific rigour, but also of moral acceptability.” (Introduction)
Presented by an international group of experts, the eight essays included in this volume evaluate the new technologies in fetal care and also wrestle with the new problems, often moral ones, that have accompanied techonological advancement. The opening chapters review state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging and molecular genetics and focus on the new patient—the fetus. From here, the efficacy of fetal therapy, the problem of assessing long-term viability, the ethical issues involved in both clinical practice and medical research, and the legal rights of the new patients and their parents are examined. The final chapter “Are Fetuses Becoming Children?” brings a fresh philosophical perspective to the question of a fetus’s status and rights.