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

Ellen Painter Dollar. Westminster John Knox, $20 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-0-664-23690-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-61164-155-4
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