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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Diane M. Kondratowicz, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book presents discussions from authors noted in philosophy and ethics on a number of problematic ethical issues engendered by reproductive technologies.
Purpose: This is the 13th volume in a series of texts, published annually, that review the literature on issues of critical importance in bioethics.
Audience: Written for a diverse audience, including philosophers, ethicists, and reproductive healthcare professionals, the book would also be suitable for instructors and students interested in the specific technologies and problematic issues addressed.
Features: Comprised of eight original essays, the book addresses diverse issues that are loosely arranged into three distinctive sections or parts. Part one includes three essays that debate whether women have an unqualified right to abortion and the rights and obligations of men in this context. Three essays included in part two discuss ethical issues associated with in vitro fertilization. Consisting of two essays, part three addresses how parents and society ought to respond to the knowledge prenatal testing yields. As preface to each section, the editors have provided a brief introduction that summarizes each author's contribution and, with respect to part one, highlights the differing viewpoints.
Assessment: Essays included in this collection provide a representative sampling of the many timely, important, and truly troublesome ethical issues reproductive technologies engender. Included among these issues are abortion rights and paternal duties; in vitro fertilization in a "just" healthcare system; selective termination in multiple gestation; blastomere separation and human cloning; obligations to abort in light of genetic information; and what justice requires for dyslexic children. In support of their positions, many of the authors offer philosophically rigorous, unique, and intriguing arguments that deserve serious consideration and warrant further debate and critical assessment. Overall, this book makes an important and worthwhile contribution to the ongoing philosophical debate concerning reproductive technologies.