Wrongful Life and Procreative Decisions
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This paper defends and refines the claim that procreation can be wrongful. Procreation is wrongful first when the "nonexistence condition" is met: the person's life will be filled with suffering that cannot be ameliorated or empty of all the things that make life worth living. Recognizing that this condition is rarely met, the paper then argues that it is wrong to create a person in less extreme circumstances: when the person is likely not to have a minimaHy decent life, one in which certain important interests cannot be satisfied. Although we must be very cautious about concluding that any particular impairment precludes a minimally decent life, there will be circumstances in which a future life is unlikely to hold a reasonable promise of containing the things that make human lives good. In these circumstances, and if reproduction is avoidable, we are required to forego reproduction altogether.