The Unborn Human

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ISBN: 978-1-60785-330-5

edited by Deborah Lupton


Introduction: Conceptualising and Configuring the Unborn Human 

Unborn human organisms – embryos and foetuses – experience an unprecedented level of discursive prominence in the contemporary era. Debates about the moral status of the unborn, about their claims to personhood and whether they should be treated as full human subjects, have been ongoing for a long time, particularly in areas related to religious philosophy, bioethics and abortion politics. Over the past half-century, however, these debates have become more diversified, intense and complex in response to a number of social, technological and economic changes. More so than at any other time in human history, embryos and foetuses are represented in public forums as beautiful, precious, vulnerable creatures that require the utmost levels of protection. They are commonly positioned as already fully human, indeed as already infants, and hence as deserving of the rights and privileges accorded the infant. (more)

Debates Over Unborn Personhood

P Kreeft 
Human personhood begins at conception
R George and P Lee 
Embryonic human persons. Talking Point on morality and human embryo research
J Barry 
Medico-Christian Embryology, or the Unborn Child (From the Earliest Period of its Existence)

Mourning and Remembering the Lost Unborn

M Kelley and S Trinidad 
Silent loss and the clinical encounter: parents’ and physicians’ experiences of stillbirth – a qualitative analysis
D Davidson 
Reflections on doing research grounded in my experience of perinatal loss: from auto/biography to autoethnography
S Murphy and H Thomas 
Stillbirth and loss: family practices and display
Memorial video for pregnancy loss

Struggles Over Dealing with the Unwanted Unborn

A Moscrop 
‘Miscarriage or abortion?’ Understanding the medical language of pregnancy loss in Britain; a historical perspective
W Tong, W Low, Y Wong, S Choong and R Jegasothy 
Exploring pregnancy termination experiences and needs among Malaysian women: a qualitative study
The World’s Abortion Laws 2013 website
N Zamberlin, M Romero and S Ramos 
Latin American women’s experiences with medical abortion in settings where abortion is legally restricted
S Barot 
Governmental coercion in reproductive decision making: see it both ways
S Childs and E Evans 
The revived debate on abortion is not simply dog whistle politics, but a threat to women’s rights
A Peck 
Personhood advocates continue war on women’s rights despite growing list of defeats
Personhood USA website
‘The Miracle of Life’ (excerpt from an anti-abortion film)
N Stotland 
Abortion: social context, psychodynamic implications
D Murphy 
My foetus (review of documentary of this name)

Assessing the Quality of the Unborn

S Wang 
The past, present, and future of embryo selection in in vitro fertilization
A Theodosiou and M Johnson
The politics of human embryo research and the motivation to achieve PGD
Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality in England, Scotland and Wales
S Aksoy 
Antenatal screening and its possible meaning from the unborn baby's perspective
F Place 
Amniocentesis and motherhood: how prenatal testing shapes our cultural understandings of pregnancy and disability
Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion on the Grounds of Disability

The Surplus Unborn Entity

J Conde 
Embryo donation: the government adopts a cause
P Andrews, H Moore and A Smith 
Human embryonic stem cells: prospects for human health – a 1 day international symposium held at the University of Sheffield
H Greely 
Moving human embryonic stem cells from legislature to lab: remaining legal and ethical questions
R Blackford 
Stem cell research on other worlds, or why embryos do not have a right to life
T Douglas and J Savulescu 
Destroying unwanted embryos in research. Talking Point on morality and human embryo research
B Manninen 
Revisiting the argument from fetal potential
B Manninen
Are human embryos Kantian persons? Kantian considerations in favor of embryonic stem cell research
E Sills and S Murphy 
Determining the status of non-transferred embryos in Ireland: a conspectus of case law and implications for clinical IVF practice
A Sagan and P Singer
Embryos, stem cells and moral status: a response to George and Lee
E Haimes and K Taylor 
The contributions of empirical evidence to socio-ethical debates on fresh embryo donation for human embryonic stem cell research
S Takahashi, M Fujita, A Fujimoto, T Fujiwara, T Yano, O Tsutsumi, Y Taketani and A Akabayashi 
The decision-making process for the fate of frozen embryos by Japanese infertile women: a qualitative study

Unborn Entities as Moral Work Objects

W Saletan
The healer: how Shinya Yamanaka transformed the stem-cell war and made everyone a winner
K Ehrich, C Williams and B Farsides 
The embryo as moral work object: PGD/IVF staff views and experiences
K Ehrich, C Williams and B Farsides 
Fresh or frozen? Classifying ‘spare’ embryos for donation to human embryonic stem cell research
K Ehrich, C Williams, B Farsides, J Sandall and R Scott
Choosing embryos: ethical complexity and relational autonomy in staff accounts of PGD
K Ehrich, C Williams, B Farsides and R Scott
Embryo futures and stem cell research: the management of informed uncertainty

Visualising the Unborn

H Barniville 
The morphology and histology of a human embryo of 8.5 mm
‘Making Visible Embryos’ website
‘Lennart Nilsson Photography’ website
‘The Visual MD’ (Alexander Tsiaras’s company) website
‘The Visible Embryo’ website
‘The Multi Dimensional Human Embryo’ website
‘In the Womb’ (excerpt from a National Geographic documentary)
‘The Miracle of Life Part 1’ (excerpt from Lennart Nilsson's documentary)
Alexander Tsiaras's TED talk about his visualisations of the unborn
‘The Sociology of the Unborn’ Pinterest board
E Tansey and D Christie (eds) 
Looking At the Unborn: Historical Aspects of Obstetric Ultrasound
N Reissland, B Francis, J Mason and K Lincoln 
Do facial expressions develop before birth?
‘The Ultrasound as Cultural Artefact’ Pinterest board

Risk and Maternal Responsibility

T A Helme 
An address on the unborn child: its care and rights
B Rhetta 
A plea for the lives of the unborn
I Monie 
Influence of the environment on the unborn
J Machado, P Filho, G Petersen and J Chatkin 
Quantitative effects of tobacco smoking exposure on the maternal-fetal circulation
C Spong 
Protection against prenatal alcohol-induced damage
S Yazdani, Y Yosofniyapasha, B Nasab, M Mojaveri and Z Bouzari 
Effect of maternal body mass index on pregnancy outcome and newborn weight
E Saastad, B Winje, B Pedersen, B. Stray and Froen, J. Frederick 
Fetal movement counting improved identification of fetal growth restriction and perinatal outcomes – a multi-centre, randomized, control trial
P Lowe, E Lee and L Yardley 
Under the influence? The construction of foetal alcohol syndrome in UK newspapers
K McDonald, L Amir and M-A Davey 
Maternal bodies and medicines: a commentary on risk and decision-making of pregnant and breastfeeding women and health professionals
A Maas, C Vreeswijk, E de Cock, C Rijk and H van Bakel 
'Expectant parents': study protocol of a longitudinal study concerning prenatal (risk) factors and postnatal infant development, parenting, and parent-infant relationships
E Beveridge, H Anath and H Scurlock
What protection for the unborn child of a psychologically vulnerable adult?
J Dayan, C Creveuil, M Dreyfus, M Herlicoviez, J-M Baleyte and V O’Keane 
Developmental model of depression applied to prenatal depression: role of past and present life events, post emotional disorders and pregnancy stress
S Ratnapalan, Y Bentur and G Koren 
Doctor, will that x-ray harm my unborn child?
H Bayrampour, M Heaman, K Duncan and S Tough 
Advanced maternal age and risk perception: a qualitative study
R Westfall and C Benoit 
Interpreting compliance and resistance to medical dominance in women’s accounts of their pregnancies
S Viaux-Savalon, M Dommergues, O Rosenblum, M Bodeau, E Aidane, O Philippon, P Mazet, C Vibert-Guigue, D Vauthier-Brouzes, R Feldman and D Cohen 
Prenatal ultrasound screening: false positive soft markers may alter maternal representations and mother-infant interaction

Bringing the Maternal Body Back In

J Souza, A Oliveira-Neto, F Surita, J Cecatti, E Amaral and J Pinto e Silva
The prolongation of somatic support in a pregnant woman with brain-death: a case report
D Riggs and C Due 
Gay men, race and surrogacy in India
A Bosanquet 
An image carnal and divine: angels playing with placenta


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