Pandora's Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution

Pandora's Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution

by Robin Marantz Henig
     
 

ISBN-10: 0618224157

ISBN-13: 9780618224159

Pub. Date: 02/06/2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


On a September morning in 1973, a hospital administrator in New York City learned of a rogue experiment in progress at his institution, and he ordered the removal from an incubator of a test tube containing a frothy mixture of human eggs and sperm. Had the experiment been allowed to continue, it might have resulted in the first human fetus created through in vitro…  See more details below

Overview


On a September morning in 1973, a hospital administrator in New York City learned of a rogue experiment in progress at his institution, and he ordered the removal from an incubator of a test tube containing a frothy mixture of human eggs and sperm. Had the experiment been allowed to continue, it might have resulted in the first human fetus created through in vitro fertilization. In Pandora’s Baby, the award-winning journalist Robin Marantz Henig tells the story of that confrontation, which ushered in a new era in reproductive technology. She takes us back to the early days of IVF, when the procedure was viewed as crackpot science and its pioneers as outsiders in the medical world. Henig lays out the ethical and political battlefield of the 1970s -- a battlefield that is recreated with each new technology -- and traces the sea change that has occurred in the public perception of “test tube babies.” It is a human story, of men and women grappling with the moral implications of a scientific discovery: researchers, couples yearning for babies, hospital administrators, and bioethicists. Through these people Henig brings to life the argument made most forcefully against IVF in the early days: that it was the first step down the slippery slope toward genetic engineering, designer babies, and human clones. Even though this argument is worrisome and antiprogressive, Henig says, many of its most scary prophecies seem to be coming true.
Pandora’s Baby is a compelling story from the not-so-distant past that brilliantly presents the scientific and ethical dilemmas we confront ever more starkly as germ-line engineering and human cloning become possible.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618224159
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
02/06/2004
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.56(d)

Table of Contents


Contents Prologue: Monster in a Test Tube 1

Part One: Ex Ovo Omnia 1. Room Temperature 19 2. The Dance of Love 26 3. Laughingstock 56 4. Out of Control 64 5. Fits and Starts 78 6. Laboratory Ghouls 87

Part Two: The Modern Prometheus 7. Toward Happily Ever After 95 8. Baby Dreams 104 9. Science on Hold 118 10. The First One 133 11. A Baby Clone 142 12. Hang On 150

Part Three: Test Tube Death Trial 13. Fooling Mother Nature 155 14. Pandora’s Baby 170 15. Normality 173 16. Prometheus Unbound 177 17. Verdict 193

Part Four: Not Meant to Be Known 18. Right to Life 201 19. Opening Pandora’s Box 217 20. Tables Turned 229 21. From Monstrous to Mundane 233 22. Pandora’s Clone 245 23. Mixed Blessings 261

Notes 269 Selected Readings 303 Acknowledgments 308 Index 310

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