Download Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics by Melinda Tankard Reist PDF

By Melinda Tankard Reist

Bold women—those who have been advised to not have their infants as a result of perceived disabilities in themselves or their unborn children—tell their tales during this arguable e-book that appears seriously at clinical eugenics as a modern kind of social engineering. Believing that every one existence is efficacious and that a few will not be extra beneficial of it than others, those girls have given beginning within the face of disapproval and hostility, defied either the creed of perfection and permitted clinical knowledge, and given the difficulty of abortion a complexity past the simplistic pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy. because it questions the accuracy of screening methods, the definition of a necessary lifestyles, and the responsiblity for making a choice on the worth of a less than perfect existence, this booklet trenchantly brings to mild many matters that for years were marginalized through the mainstream media and constrained to incapacity activism.

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Extra info for Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics

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It seems they are often provided with the worst possible scenarios about particular disabilities, and the information they are given is skewed one way. For example, Lisa Blumberg observes: Emphasis may be placed in genetic counselling on the difficulties a condition may produce, but not on how people cope with these difficulties. … Parents may be given illustrated medical abstracts but rarely are they given copies of Exceptional Parent and Disability Rag. ’ However, they are not exposed to views such as those of disability activists Michelle Fine and Adrienne Asch that, the ‘pain and “tragedy” of living with a disability in our culture derives primarily from the pain and humiliation of discrimination, oppression and anti-disability attitudes, not from the disability,’ nor are they usually told of how disabled and non-disabled people are working with some considerable success to change society (Blumberg, 1994b, p.

Marie Stopes didn’t have much patience for ‘morons’ either. In 1924, after finding in her mail a letter from the deaf father of 38 INTRODUCTION deaf children, Stopes wrote to the superintendent of the school the father had attended: I should be much obliged if you would tell me how it came about that two persons educated at [the Royal Association in Aid of the Deaf and Dumb] were permitted to marry and bring forth children, all of whom are still more imperfect and a burden on the country … Do you think it advisable that two defectives, both brought up at public expense, should be permitted to produce four defectives to be brought up at public expense and where is this geometrical progression going to stop?

50 INTRODUCTION In many people with [italics in original] disease, moreover, tracing the malady to a gene is impossible: as many as 20 genes may be related to hypertension, at least three to manic depression and more than 100 to cancer. But the best news has nothing to do with brave new cures. It is, quite simply, that our future is not written indelibly in our genes. (in Begley, 1993, pp. 64–65). The obsession with genes has caused many to forget the role of environment in triggering genetic problems.

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