Within twenty, maybe forty, years most people in developed countries will stop having sex for the purpose of reproduction. Instead, prospective parents will be told as much as they wish to know about the genetic makeup of dozens of embryos, and they will pick one or two for implantation, gestation, and birth. And it will be safe, lawful, and free. In The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction of prophetic scholarship, Henry T. Greely explains the revolutionary biological technologies that make this future a seeming inevitability and sets out the deep ethical and legal challenges humanity faces as a result.
Developments in genetics and stem cell research are giving rise to new techniques that will vastly improve preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), making sexless reproduction not just possible but cheap and easy – what Greely coins "easy PGD". The first child born using PGD is now 25 years old, and thousands more are born each year. Advanced by economic, social, legal, and political forces, the emerging science has made the concerns that were once the stuff of science fiction into real problems that our children and grandchildren will face routinely.
Deeply informed by Greely's command of both science and law, The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction is a book for parents, citizens, and all those, born and unborn, who will face the consequences of a new era of human reproduction.
"Will the future confront us with human GMOs? Greely provocatively declares yes, and, while clearly explaining the science, spells out the ethical, political, and practical ramifications."
– Paul Berg, Nobel Laureate and recipient of the National Medal of Science
"This book could not be more timely. Greely imagines the future of human reproduction with the insight, wit, and panache readers of his work have come to expect."
– Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School, author of Patients with Passports
"Greely has written an exceptional book. Anyone interested in the technology of human reproduction and what it holds for humanity's future will thoroughly enjoy the read."
– Judith Daar, Whittier Law School
"We owe it to ourselves, to the society we live in, to our children and our children's children to think long and hard about the arguments Greely presents before we make choices about the future of human reproduction. One of the most exciting and thought-provoking books I have read in a long time."
– Jennifer Merchant, Université de Paris II
I. The Science
1. Cells, Chromosomes, DNA, Genomes, and Genes
2. Reproduction: In General and in Humans
3. Infertility and Assisted Reproduction
5. Genetic Testing
6. Stem Cells
First Interlude—Easy PGD: The Possibilities
II. The Pathway
7. Genetic Analysis
8. Making Gametes
9. Research Investment, Industry, Medical Professionals, and Health Care Financing
10. Legal Factors
12. Some Other Possible Uses of New Technologies in Reproduction
Second Interlude—Easy PGD: The Future
III. The Implications
14. Family Relationships
15. Fairness, Justice, and Equality
17. Just Plain Wrong
18. Enforcement and Implementation
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Henry T. Greely is Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University.