The increased use of in vitro fertilization has raised many ethical questions pertaining to preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PDG). PGD allows parents to screen for and diagnose chromosomal and genetic disorders in the created embryos. This raises great concern for the ability to select for or against disabilities. In this paper I argue that the definition of disability needs to be modified in order to determine whether or not PGD is moral and supports human flourishing. Using Aristotle’s model of virtue ethics, three modes of disability are applied to various cases of PGD. Working through the cases I argue that a model of purely social or medical disability is not sufficient to determine the morality of PGD, as they fail to acknowledge the intersection between physical impairments and an obstructive environment. A mixed model in which social discrimination is directly caused by a medical disability, and actively includes the voices of people with disabilities is the best way to address the morality of PGD.



Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


The University of Puget Sound