chapter  4
17 Pages

“Preconception Rights”

WithCÉCILE FABRE

Hillel Steiner needs no introduction as a leading proponent of the socalled Will Theory of rights. According to the Will Theory, X has a right against Y that Y φ if, and only if, X is able to demand that Y fulfi l his duty to φ, and to ask for remedies should Y desist-in other words, if, and only if, X is able to exercise his will with respect to Y’s conduct. According to the Will Theory, then, one can be a right-holder if, and only if, one is able to act according to one’s will (Hart 1955; Simmonds 1998, Steiner 1994; Sumner 1987; Wellman 1985, 1995.) By contrast, on the Interest Theory of rights, whereby X has a right against Y that Y φ if, and only if, Y’s φ-ing furthers some interest(s) of X, X need not be able to control Y’s performance of his duty in order to count as a right-holder (Raz 1986; MacCormick 1977; Kramer 1998, 2001).