In No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction, Ellen Painter Dollar tells her gut-wrenching story of living with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI)-a disabling genetic bone disorder that was passed down to her first child-and deciding whether to conceive a second child who would not have OI using assisted reproduction. Her story brings to light the ethical dilemmas surrounding advanced reproductive technologies. What do procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) say about how we define human worth? If we avoid such procedures, are we permitting the suffering of our children? How do we identify a "good life" in a consumer society that values appearance, success, health, and perfection?
art 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.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
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