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Beyond Bioethics

Toward a New Biopolitics

Osagie K. Obasogie (Editor), Marcy Darnovsky (Editor), Troy Duster (Foreword), Patricia J. Williams (Afterword by)


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In this authoritative volume, two senior scholars bring together the most important and current work on the new biopolitics.  Aimed at students and scholars in the field, this intriguing volume addresses provocative and controversial issues surrounding race, gender, class, disability, privacy and notions of democracy in this new realm.  For several decades, the field of bioethics has played a dominant role in shaping the way society thinks about ethical problems related to developments in science, technology, and medicine. But its traditional emphases on doctor-patient relationships, informed consent, and individual autonomy have led the field to lack responsiveness to the challenges posed by new human biotechnologies such as assisted reproduction, human genetic enhancement, and DNA forensics.
Beyond Bioethics provides a focused overview for those grappling with the profound social dilemmas posed by these developments. The book brings together the work of cutting-edge thinkers from diverse fields of study and public engagement, all of them committed to a new perspective grounded in social justice and public interest values. The contributors to this volume seek to define an emerging field of scholarly, policy, and public concern: a new biopolitics.
List of Illustrations
Foreword by Troy Duster
Note to Readers

Introduction Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky

Part I. The Biopolitical Critique of Bioethics: Historical Context
1. The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poor
2. Making Better Babies: Public Health and Race Betterment in Indiana, 1920–1935
3. Eugenics and the Nazis: The California Connection
4. Why the Nazis Studied American Race Law for Inspiration
5. Constructing Normalcy: The Bell Curve, the Novel, and the Invention of the Disabled Body in the Nineteenth Century
6. The Eugenics Legacy of the Nobelist Who Fathered IVF

Part II. Bioethics and its Discontents
7. A Sociological Account of the Growth of Principlism
8. Why a Feminist Approach to Bioethics?
9. Disability Rights Approach toward Bioethics?
10. Differences from Somewhere: The Normativity of Whiteness in Bioethics in the United States
11. Bioethical Silence and Black Lives
12. The Ethicists

Part II. Emerging Biotechnologies, Extreme Ideologies: The Recent Past and Near Future
13. The Genome as Commons
14. Yuppie Eugenics
15. Brave New Genome
16. Can We Cure Genetic Diseases without Slipping into Eugenics?
17. Cyborg Soothsayers of the High-Tech Hogwash Emporia: In Amsterdam with the Singularity

Part IV. Markets, Property, and The Body
18. Flacking for Big Pharma
19. Your Body, Their Property
20. Where Babies Come From: Supply and Demand in an Infant Marketplace
21. Dear Facebook, Please Don’t Tell Women to Lean In to Egg Freezing
22. The Miracle Woman

Part V. Patients As Consumers in The Gene Age
23. What Is Your DNA Worth?
24. Should Patients Understand That They Are Research Subjects?
25. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests Should Come with a Health Warning
26. Genetic Testing for All Women? Not a Solution to the Breast Cancer Epidemic
27. Welcome, Freshmen: DNA Swabs, Please
28. Me Medicine
29. Public Health in the Precision-Medicine Era

Part VI. Seeking Humanity in Human Subjects Research
30. Medical Exploitation: Inmates Must Not Become Guinea Pigs Again
31. The Body Hunters
32. Guinea-Pigging
33. Human Enhancement and Experimental Research in the Military
34. Non-Consenting Adults

Part VII. Baby-Making in The Biotech Age
35. Generation I.V.F.: Making a Baby in the Lab—10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me
36. Queering the Fertility Clinic
37. Reproductive Tourism: Equality Concerns in the Global Market for Fertility Services
38. Make Me a Baby as Fast as You Can
39. Let’s Get Rid of the Secrecy in Donor-Conceived Families

Part VIII. Selecting Traits, Selecting Children
40. Disability Equality and Prenatal Testing: Contradictory or Compatible?
41. The Bleak New World of Prenatal Genetics
42. Have New Prenatal Tests Been Dangerously Oversold?
43. Sex Selection and the Abortion Trap
44. A Baby, Please: Blond, Freckles—Hold the Colic

Part IX. Reinventing Race in The Gene Age
45. Straw Men and Their Followers: The Return of Biological Race
46. The Problem with Race-Based Medicine
47. Race in a Bottle
48. The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing
49. All That Glitters Isn’t Gold
50. High-Tech, High-Risk Forensics

Part X. Biopolitics and The Future
51. Die, Selfish Gene, Die
52. Toward Race Impact Assessments
53. Human Genetic Engineering Demands More Than a Moratorium
54. “Moral Meanings of an Altogether Different Kind”: Progressive Politics in the Biotech Age
Afterword by Patricia J. Williams
List of Contributors
Osagie K. Obasogie is Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics in the Joint Medical Program in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. 
Marcy Darnovsky is Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society.

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