Recently in Reproductive Technology Category

The Case Against Perfection


This seems to be an interesting book that came out earlier this summer.

The philosophical battle, as Sandel sees it, is between the Promethean aspiration to master nature, to take it and remold it into an image of our own making, and his own ethic centering on the "giftedness of human life" which holds that "our talents and powers are not wholly our own doing, nor even fully ours, despite the efforts we expend to develop and exercise them" and that "not everything in the world is [morally] open to any use we may desire or devise." (27) A significant implication of the "giftedness" approach is that children, too, should be seen as a gift and that some of our fundamental values are threatened when we do not respect that giftedness.

The Jesuit weekly America hosted a discussion between two medical ethics experts about the book on their website.

The New York Times review from Will Saletan, Slate's pro-choice hand-wringer, is here.

Harvard (where Sandel teaches) has a pdf excerpt from the book here.

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"The wild new world of reproduction"


The WaPo has a book review of a sympathetic treatment of the current reproduction scene.

There is, for example, the story of Doug Okun and Eric Ethington, two gay men determined to conceive and raise a child. They visit a swank surrogacy agency, compile a marketing profile of themselves and eventually discover Ann Nelson, a mother of four from West Virginia, who agrees to carry their child. Then they start searching for another woman to provide the eggs, reasoning, as Mundy tells us, that "of course she would have to be fabulous, your basic Ivy League supermodel."

While the two men are dashing across the country to attend their daughters' birth, Nelson starts hemorrhaging. Doctors race to stop the bleeding and ultimately perform an emergency hysterectomy to save her life. An unfortunate accident? Perhaps. But Nelson, we learn, was overweight. She had delivered her own children by Caesarean section and was at increased risk for uterine rupture. Yet the doctors and prospective fathers still agreed to transfer four embryos to her, creating a predictably dangerous pregnancy....

For this reader, the most poignant stories of Everything Conceivable concerned the peripheral players: David Nelson, Ann's husband, who stood photographing Okun and Ethington's newborn daughters while his wife lay nearly dying from their birth...

The reviewer's criticism is that "it is in not dwelling on these accidents-in-waiting that Mundy's book falls short." It seems inconceivable (ha!) that somebody could treat this subject without dwelling on the potential for real harm, but such is the case with unquestioning cheerleaders of reproductive technology.

If you want a serious look at the problems and complications brought about by the rapid change in this field, the Institute for American Values released a report last September entitled "The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Adult Rights and Children’s Needs." The report is an overview of what's happening (which, 8 months later is almost outdated due to the rapid speed of developments) and what's in store for the future.

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October 2007: Monthly Archives


Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Reproductive Technology category.

Eugenics is the previous category.

Stem Cells is the next category.

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