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From reproduction to research: sourcing eggs, IVF and cloning

By Kate O'Riordan and Joan Haran

Abstract

This article provides an analysis of the relationships between IVF and therapeutic cloning, as they played out in the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority consultation of 2006: Donating Eggs for Research: Safeguarding Donors. We develop an account of current developments in IVF and cloning which foregrounds the role of mediation in structuring the discursive context in which they are constituted. We foreground the imperative of choice and the promise of cures as key features of this context. We also argue that the intercorporeal exchanges of IVF are materially restructured in relation to cloning research, despite their represented similitude in the consultation document. The discourse of choice in relation to reproductive technologies has become entrenched over the last twenty years. In relation to therapeutic cloning, it has been coupled with, and strengthened by, the discourse of cures. In examining relations between IVF and cloning with specific attention to both mediating imaginaries, and intercorporeal exchanges, we develop an analysis that displaces the rhetoric of choice and cures. This makes visible the limited subject positions available, and the limited possibilities for responding critically to the consultation. Identifying women as the gendered subjects of this consultation and placing intercorporeality at the centre of our analysis illuminates the interdependency of women undergoing IVF, cloning science and the governance of embryo research in the UK

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:20083
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