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dc.contributor.advisorMaclachlan, Prof. Alice
dc.contributor.advisorRini, Prof. Regina
dc.contributor.authorSchuman, Olivia
dc.description.abstractDo we have a right to know who our genetic parents are? Do donor-conceived individuals have a moral right to know their gamete (sperm and egg) donors? From the beginning of the clinical practice of donor conception, anonymity for gamete donors was considered in the best interest of all involved parties. However, in recent decades the discourse has changed. Many jurisdictions have now banned the use of anonymous donors on the grounds that having access to ones genetic parents is a moral right. This dissertation is a philosophical analysis of this moral justification for banning gamete donor anonymity on the grounds that genetic ties are valuable. One potential negative consequence of banning donor anonymity is that it communicates a particular kind of normative message, namely that people who have access to their genetic kin have something valuable or irreplaceable that people without access to their genetic kin do not have. Internalizing such messages can be harmful and oppressive to many groups. For example, it suggests that families that are formed through donor-conception, adoption, or re-marriage are inferiour to families who are genetically related. If the State bans donor anonymity on the grounds that genetic ties are valuable, then it becomes complicit in reifying and perpetuating these kinds of normative standards. We know that genetic ties can have subjective value for many people, but that justification is too weak to ground a right to know the donor. Thus, I look for evidence for its independent value. I consider empirical studies, evolutionary arguments, as well human dignity arguments. I show how valuing genetic ties arises by way of various biases and false beliefs. If we correct for these biases, we lack adequate justification for the value of genetic ties. Thus, knowing the donor does not promote substantial enough interests to ground a right, and therefore the State should not ban donor anonymity.
dc.rightsAuthor owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
dc.subjectIndividual & family studies
dc.titleThe Value of Genetic Ties as Ethical Justification for Banning Gamete Donor Anonymity
dc.typeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
dc.subject.keywordsReproductive technologies
dc.subject.keywordsRight to know

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