Each year the EMA Council of Directors selects five theses, which stand out not only for their formal academic qualities but also for the originality of topic, innovative character of methodology and approach, potential usefulness in raising awareness about neglected issues, and capacity for contributing to the promotion of the values underlying human rights and democracy.
Browsing Global Campus Europe (EMA) Awarded Theses by Subject "case studies"
(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022)
Keogh, Bríana; Melo, Helena : Pereira de
Preimplantation genetic testing allows parents who are at risk of passing
on a serious genetic disability or illness to avoid implanting embryos with
genetic abnormalities when going through IVF. In the UK and Portugal, this
is publicly funded and limited to ‘serious’ genetic abnormalities only, whereas
in Ireland there are no national regulations. At first glance, selecting against
genetic abnormalities is a justifiable aim in the name of public health and
avoidance of human suffering. In addition to this, reproductive autonomy
is an important bioethical principle and control over one’s private and
family life is commonly recognised as essential for human flourishing within
a liberal society. However, if we do not remember our history we may be
doomed to repeat it. Objectively harmful eugenic policies of the 20th century
advocated for the eradication of disability in order to improve the strength
of humankind. This traumatic history continues to create fear amongst the
disability community for the return of stigmatisation, discrimination and
reduced funding for services. However, the reality is that raising a child with
a disability correlates with economic, social and mental strains. Should we,
therefore, set limits on an individual’s ability to avoid these strains, so we can
protect human diversity and the rights of persons with disabilities? If we truly
respect reproductive autonomy and the value of disability in our communities
then why is it considered immoral to deliberately select an embryo with the
gene for deafness? Whilst the majority of disability is attributed to non-genetic
factors and therefore the eradication of disability is impossible, grave damage
can still be done to our tolerance for human variation and the inherent human
dignity regardless of one’s genetic constitution.
Contains ableist language and remarks.