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Reasons For Having Children: Savior Siblings

1775 words - 7 pages

I believe that parents are not morally justified in having a child merely to provide life saving medical treatment to another child or family member, but that this does not mean that the creation of savior siblings is morally impermissible. By having a child solely to provide life saving medical treatment, you are treating this child merely as a means rather than an end to the individual child. By having the child solely as a means to save another, you are violating this savior sibling in that you are treating them as a source of spare parts that can be used by the sickly child in order to solely promote the prolonged life of the currently sick child. This view that having a child merely as a way to provide medical treatment does not consider the multitude of other avenues that this newborn child can take, and presupposes that the child will only be used for the single purpose of providing life saving medical treatment through use of stems cells or organ donation. What this view fails to consider is that these savior siblings are valued by families for so much more than just as a human bag of good cells and organs that can be used to save the life of the original child. Instead, these savior siblings can be valued as normal children themselves, in that they can be valued in the same way that any other child who is born is valued, yet at the same time they will also be able to provide life-saving treatment to their sibling. My view runs parallel to the view held by Claudia Mills who argues that it is acceptable to have a savior sibling, yet at the same time we can not have a child for purely instrumental motives, and instead should more so value the child for the intrinsic worth that they have. Mills presents her argument by putting forth a variety of views for why you should have a child and then dissecting those views and showing why they are ill founded. Finally, Mills concludes her argument by laying out three questions that must be answered in evaluating the supposed reasons for having a child, (and thus a savior sibling), and ultimately resolving that intrinsic valuing of a child is more important than instrumental valuing, and that intrinsic valuing of the child is necessary for the birth of a savior sibling to be acceptable. First off, Mills entertains the Kantian view on the subject, invoking Kant’s categorical imperative that, “all persons are to be valued not as mere means, but as ends in themselves”. Utilizing this Kantian view, Mills says that this Kantian thinking follows the Intrinsic Motivation view, which states that you can only have the child for the child’s own sake. This brings up the issue of if you are only having the child to be used as a means, and having a child for only instrumental reasons cannot be the sole reason for having a child. Mills is quick to point out that while this combined Kantian view and intrinsic motivation view make valid points, they do not fully address all of the problems at hand. The main problems...

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