Surgically Shaping Children: Technology, Ethics, and the Pursuit of Normality

It notes that the message sent to children with these conditions is, "We love you, you're perfect the way you are. They also point out that, if valuing diversity is really important, people should be more accepting of individuals born with such conditions, without surgery, and that surgery is often undertaken to make doctors and parents feel better.

The authors include philosophers, a surgeon, persons with the conditions, and their parents. Although one author who had such surgery is glad that she did, most are opposed to surgery on babies of indeterminate sex, pointing out that such surgery may destroy any sexual sensation and is as serious as female genital mutilation, which is outlawed in the US.

Surgically shaping children : technology, ethics, and the pursuit of normality

This work scarcely considers the financial cost of surgery. The best essays are on the role of the surgeon and surgical training, and on what normal means. An important book for prospective surgeons, it is also one that nonspecialists will find readable.

Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. LaBar emeritus, Southern Wesleyan University.

Surgically shaping children : technology, ethics, and the pursuit of normality

Thank you for using the catalog. Johns Hopkins University Press, []. Morrris -- Do I make you uncomfortable?

Edwards -- Emily's scars: Marsh -- What's special about the surgical context? Mouradian -- Are we helping children? Children -- Surgery -- Moral and ethical aspects. Abnormalities, Human -- Moral and ethical aspects. Surgery, Plastic -- Moral and ethical aspects.

Surgically shaping children : technology, ethics, and the pursuit of normality

Children -- Surgery -- Decision making. Decision making in children. Summary At a time when medical technologies make it ever easier to enhance our minds and bodies, a debate has arisen about whether such efforts promote a process of "normalization," which makes it ever harder to tolerate the natural anatomical differences among us.

Choice Review This book considers facial conditions, dwarf children lengthening legs , and indeterminate sex. List of Contributors p. Thinking about Surgically Shaping Children p.

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My Journey in an Imperfect Body p. The result is a surprisingly even-handed examination of a complicated issue. Parens organizes the chapters so as to give the final word to scholars of disability Alice Dreger and Adrienne Asch who advocate delaying any decisions about surgery until the child who would undergo it can fully comprehend his or her options, and who encourage parents to consider the extent to which acquiescing to appearance-normalizing surgeries promotes complicity with stultifying norms.

But before getting to this concluding point, readers encounter thoughtful arguments in favor of these surgeries, including Emily Sullivan Stanford's discussion of her positive identity as a person with achondroplasia who underwent limb-lengthening surgeries.

Readers whose disability politics might initially encourage them to dismiss out of hand any surgery that is primarily aesthetic will find themselves confronted with compelling stances to the contrary—an encounter that stands to enrich the dialogue surrounding bioethics and disability. My reservations about the volume are few, though I must mention my concern about its movement from the personal with narratives by individuals with ambiguous genitalia, cleft lip and palate, and achondroplasia comprising Section I through the philosophical and back again to the personal with the final chapters, written by scholars who may or may not share these conditions but who offer advice to parents of children with congenital variations.

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Surgically Shaping Children: Technology, Ethics, and the Pursuit of Normality: Medicine & Health Science Books @ Surgically Shaping Children: Technology, Ethics, and the Pursuit of Normality [ Erik Parens] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. At a time.

Sometimes, the detour through the philosophical seems less than useful. For a book that concludes with direct address to would-be parents, a relatively abstract and inaccessible though interesting diatribe on Heidegger's philosophy of technology as in chapter five seems strikingly out of place.

That said, many of the chapters that explore philosophical issues do so in ways that will surely be of interest to the non-philosophers among us. Surgically Shaping Children would make an excellent support text in graduate or undergraduate classes on disability studies, bioethics, body politics, or science and technology studies. The text will illuminate disability perspectives on normalizing surgeries as surely as it will provoke vital conversations about the appropriateness of surgically pursuing normalcy.