No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction

No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction

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by Ellen Painter Dollar
     
 

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"This well-written, insightful account should serve as a resource to anyone who ponders the intersection of medicine, ethics, and parenthood."
-Publishers Weekly

In her new memoir, author Ellen Painter Dollar responds to the ethical dilemmas surrounding assisted reproduction with her personal story of being a mother living with a disability. Dollar describes… See more details below

Overview

"This well-written, insightful account should serve as a resource to anyone who ponders the intersection of medicine, ethics, and parenthood."
-Publishers Weekly

In her new memoir, author Ellen Painter Dollar responds to the ethical dilemmas surrounding assisted reproduction with her personal story of being a mother living with a disability. Dollar describes living with a disabling genetic bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), which she passes down to her first child. As her toddler breaks numerous bones while learning to walk, Dollar considers whether to use assisted reproduction to conceive a second child. Her story brings to light the ethical dilemmas surrounding advanced reproductive technologies:

What do procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) say about how we define human worth?
If we avoid such procedures, are we permitting the suffering of our children?
How do we identify a "good life" in a consumer society that values appearance, success, health, and perfection?
Dollar considers multiple sides of the debate, refusing to accept the matter as simply black and white. Her book will help parents who want to understand and make good decisions about assisted reproduction, as well as those who support and counsel them, including pastors and medical professionals.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Part memoir, part theological treatise, this book offers a refreshingly candid and nuanced grappling with assisted reproduction that will be valuable to many Christians wishing to engage with the ethical questions raised by this new medical technology. Dollar, who suffers from a genetic disorder better known as “brittle bone disease,” wanted to spare her offspring the suffering she endured by testing her fertilized eggs for the mutation before they were implanted in her uterus. (There was a 50% chance her child would inherit the mutation.) Opposed to abortion, she and her husband reasoned that embryos in a petri dish are not the same as a fetus growing inside a womb. Nevertheless, she wondered if such technological advances might not hasten a world of designer babies selected to minimize the chances of pain, sickness, and disability. With an estimated four million babies conceived through in-vitro fertilization and rapid advances in genetic testing, such questions have never been more urgent, yet they are often left to couples to sort through on their own. This well-written, insightful account should serve as a resource to anyone who ponders the intersection of medicine, ethics, and parenthood. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611641554
Publisher:
Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date:
01/17/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,152,883
File size:
2 MB

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