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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Sarah Banks

Banks, S., Scully, J.L. & Shakespeare, T. (2006). Ordinary ethics: lay people's deliberations on social sex selection. New Genetics and Society 25(3): 289-303.

Author(s) from Durham


This article summarises the results of a research project that used a scenario about sex selection of embryos for social reasons as a basis for discussion groups with lay people. The aim of the research was to examine the processes by which non-professionals make ethical evaluations in relation to a contested area in medical genetics. We note in particular the role played in the discussions by expressions of instinct; making distinctions; rational argument; reference to principles; use of personal experience; analogies and examples; slippery slope arguments and meta-reflections. The implications for developing processes of public consultation and debate are also considered.


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