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A most selective practice - The eugenic logics of IVF

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Abstract

This article provides a report on a survey undertaken in 1990 of clinic practices of and practitioner attitudes toward screening patients and embryos in the context of IVF and GIFT treatment In so doing, it focuses on an underexamined aspect of the professional IVF/GIFT culture. In its examination of particular screening criteria that emerged as significant in the survey, this article considers: (a) contradictions that emerge in responses regarding what counts as discrimination and discriminatory screening; (b) implications of selection policies in relation to social profiles of IVF/GIFT patients; and (c) ways in which IVF/GIFT selection practices can be seen to relate to the reproduction of ableist, class oppressive, (hetero)sexist, and racist social divisions. Considered within the context of the historical role of the medical profession as an agent of social control, particularly in the context of sexuality, notions of ''breeding,'' and the construction of common sense discourses of ''proper'' family, the findings in this survey raise important questions about the conditions for women's reproductive choice and autonomy and about the (re)production of those conditions through the specific professional practices examined here. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd

Topics: HQ
Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:17876
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