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The case against the case for Procreative Beneficence (PB)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2016
Issue number7
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)490-499
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/03/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Julian Savulescu's principle of procreative beneficence (PB) states that, other things being equal, and of the possible children they could have, a couple contemplating procreation are morally obliged to (attempt to) procreate the child with the best chance of the best life. The critique of PB is in three parts. The first part argues that PB rests on a particular conception of the good life, and that alternative conceptions of the good life afford no obvious way in which PB can be rendered operational. The second part identifies six flaws in the attempt to justify PB in terms of a particular conception of the good life according to which the best life is understood as the life with the most well-being. The third part explores some of the uncertainties that surround the potential implications and ramifications of adopting the principle. The overall purpose is not to demonstrate that the principle is untenable, but only to demonstrate that no compelling reason has yet been given for adhering to it.