Dream of the Perfect Child

Dream of the Perfect Child

by Joan Rothschild
     
 

ISBN-10: 0253345650

ISBN-13: 9780253345653

Pub. Date: 06/28/2005

Publisher: Indiana University Press

Every parent wants a healthy, normal child. Science and technology have now made this increasingly possible. But progress comes with a price. This richly informative account shows how the human striving for perfection has influenced the practice of reproductive medicine. Tracing its roots from Enlightenment thought through the biological discoveries of the nineteenth…  See more details below

Overview

Every parent wants a healthy, normal child. Science and technology have now made this increasingly possible. But progress comes with a price. This richly informative account shows how the human striving for perfection has influenced the practice of reproductive medicine. Tracing its roots from Enlightenment thought through the biological discoveries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Joan Rothschild shows how the dream of human perfection masks a darker motivation to eliminate all that does not meet its standards. She points to the thousands of decisions about prenatal testing that are made each day in the doctor's office, the context in which they occur, and how they add up to the discourse of the perfect-and imperfect-child. She argues that the mainstream bioethics community has been ineffective in raising appropriate questions. The result has been support for the status quo. To combat this tendency, Rothschild draws upon counter-voices from medicine and feminist ethics, as well as from pregnant women and people with disabilities. She proposes an informed ethical approach for evaluating the use of prenatal testing, genetic intervention, and other reproductive technologies that is case-based and procreative.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253345653
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Series:
Bioethics and the Humanities Series
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : beautifully perfect : the technological dream1
Pt. 1Origins : enlightenment, evolutionary, and Eugenic discourses
1The perfectibility of man13
2The "perfect race"29
3Reformed Eugenics and medical genetics52
Pt. 2Framing the discourse of the perfect child
4The tools71
5The doctors : on the trail of the defective fetus93
6The parents : only the best and the brightest111
7Discourses of the imperfect132
Pt. 3Counter-discourses
8Bioethics discourse and reproductive practice157
9Sites of resistance188
10Transforming the dream of the perfect child214

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