A Conversation with Dr. Leon Kass
The Ethical Dimensions of in Vitro Fertilization

  • Title:

    A Conversation with Dr. Leon Kass
  • Paperback ISBN:

    0-8447-3345-8
  • Paperback Dimensions:

    6'' x 9''
  • 22 Paperback pages
  • Buy the Book

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A Conversation with Dr. Leon Kass: The Ethical Dimensions of in Vitro Fertilization is the edited transcript of a discussion of the ethics and policy issues of research on so-called test tube babies. Dr. Kass is a leading authority on ethical issues in medical research and practice.

In his presentation and in the ensuing conversation with AEI scholars and guests, Dr. Kass suggests that in vitro fertilization raises two larger questions: What should the role of the federal government be in regard to morally questionable or socially problematic research? and should the federal government continue to encourage the highly technological approach to disease and dysfunction represented by such techniques as in vitro fertilization?

The views Dr. Kass expresses in this conversation include the following:

  • "The policy question is not whether such research should be allowed, but whether the federal government should become its patron. My opinion is in the negative."
  • "Gonorrhea and pelvic inflammatory disease are perhaps the leading causes of tubal obstruction in women--they account for probably a third of the cases. It would be curious if, with the aid of federal support, we had a program of petri-dish babies before we had a vaccine against gonococcus. That strikes me as bizarre."

In March 1979 the Ethics Advisory Board of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare advised Secretary Califano that basic embryo research--including laboratory creation of embryos--was ethically acceptable under certain circumstances. This conversation with Dr. Kass wrestles with the same thorny questions that went into this decision.

Leon R. Kass is the Hertog Fellow at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Leon R.
Kass
  • Leon R. Kass, M.D., is the Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago and the Madden-Jewett Chair at AEI. He was the chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005. He has been engaged for more than 40 years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advances and, more recently, with broader moral and cultural issues. His most recent book, What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song, seeks to promote American identity, character and citizenship. Along with co-editors Amy Kass and Diana Schaub, Dr. Kass is presently working to expand this project by creating video discussions and curricula materials that demonstrate how short stories can be used to enhance our understanding of the Meaning of America.
  • Phone: 202-862-7156
    Email: lkass@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Caroline Kitchens
    Phone: 202-862-5820
    Email: caroline.kitchens@aei.org

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