Private and public eugenics: Genetic testing and screening in india [Book Review]

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 4 (3):217-228 (2007)
Abstract
Epidemiologists and geneticists claim that genetics has an increasing role to play in public health policies and programs in the future. Within this perspective, genetic testing and screening are instrumental in avoiding the birth of children with serious, costly or untreatable disorders. This paper discusses genetic testing and screening within the framework of eugenics in the health care context of India. Observations are based on literature review and empirical research using qualitative methods. I distinguish ‘private’ from ‘public’ eugenics. I refer to the practice of prenatal diagnosis as an aspect of private eugenics, when the initiative to test comes from the pregnant woman herself. Public eugenics involves testing initiated by the state or medical profession through (more or less) obligatory testing programmes. To illustrate these concepts I discuss the management of thalassaemia, which I see as an example of private eugenics that is moving into the sphere of public eugenics. I then discuss the recently launched newborn screening programme as an example of public eugenics. I use Foucault’s concepts of power and governmentality to explore the thin line separating individual choice and overt or covert coercion, and between private and public eugenics. We can expect that the use of genetic testing technology will have serious and far-reaching implications for cultural perceptions regarding health and disease and women’s experience of pregnancy, besides creating new ethical dilemmas and new professional and parental responsibilities. Therefore, culturally sensitive health literacy programmes to empower the public and sensitise professionals need attention.
Keywords Bioethics  Sociology  Genetic screening  Eugenics  India
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11673-007-9059-0
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,404
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Genetic Politics: From Eugenics to Genome.Ann Kerr & Tom Shakespeare - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4):409-418.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ethical Questions in the Age of the New Eugenics.Neil I. Wiener & David L. Wiesenthal - 1999 - Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (3):383-394.
Liberalism and Eugenics.Robert Sparrow - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):499 - 517.
Predictive Genetic Testing for Conditions That Present in Childhood.Lainie Friedman Ross - 2002 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 12 (3):225-244.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
72 ( #81,644 of 2,226,000 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #61,722 of 2,226,000 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature