Review: Petra Fosen-Schlichtinger (2002). Über die gesellschaftspolitische Bedeutung von Pränataldiagnostik und künstlicher Befruchtung [The Social and Political Importance of Prenatal Diagnoses and in vitro Fertilization}

Torsten Junge


This volume deals with reproductive medicine, offspring and the social perception of disability. The family and its offspring have become, in modern times, a project for individual life-planning. A child promises a certain social status, particularly if s/he conforms to society's ideal of a competitive child. Due to its peculiarity, the "special" (namely disabled), child poses various barriers and challenges for the parents and the environment. The social climate, therefore, does not sufficiently expose the possibility of disability in offspring. Developing medical technologies, through prenatal medicine or artificial insemination, provide ways for individuals to actively participate in the shaping of one's offspring and to turn "off" disability. The book aims (1) to outline the historical, political and cultural contexts of pregnancy, birth and offspring in modern society by means of socio-philosophical, modern theoretical and psychoanalytical arguments, and (2) to make the analysis of the current circumstances productive. The theoretical argument is complemented by the description of medical technical procedures, their risks and potential. The practical side is strengthened by interviews with clinicians from the reproductive medicine sector. The plethora of the study's various elements is not classifiable at first sight and a stronger and more concise list of contents would have been desirable. Despite this small weakness, the volume provides an informative overview about the role and meaning of procedures in reproductive medicine within specific social contexts. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050175


prenatal diagnoses; individualization; modern reproduction; expert interview


Copyright (c) 2005 Torsten Junge

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