Private Choices, Public Consequences: Reproductive Technology and the New Ethics of Conception, Pregnancy, and Family

Lynda Beck Fenwick, Author, Lyn Fenwick, Author
Lynda Beck Fenwick, Author, Lyn Fenwick, Author Dutton Books $27.5 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-94263-4
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
In an era when medical technology often outruns our ability to incorporate its consequences into our moral schema, issues surrounding human reproduction are among the most puzzling. Fenwick (Should the Children Pray?) captures the drama and pathos in the range of ethical dilemmas facing parents, doctors and society. She explores the consequences of fertility drugs, of the freezing of human sperm and eggs, of menopausal mothers, drug abuse during pregnancy, surrogate motherhood, infant organ transplants, genetic testing, eugenics and horrific neonatal disorders. Throughout the book, she confronts readers with difficult ""Ask Yourself..."" questions. This interactive approach demands hard choices on the part of readers, as the troubling questions highlight the predicaments that arise from trying to square an essentially amoral scientific approach with humanity's need for ethical and religious grounding. Coverage of familiar headline cases helps to focus the discussion, and the extensive questionnaire on reproductive issues that concludes this thoughtful, well-organized book brings to light the ambiguity that most of us feel when we face these problems. Eight pages of photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
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