Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Novi Libri

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Novi Libri

Article excerpt

Novi Libri

Meilaender, Gilbert. Bioethics: A Primer for Christians, Second Ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2005.

This book was first published slightly less than ten years ago. The changes from the first edition include: (1) the whole text has been updated at various points in order to make the data given more current; (2) Chapter three (Abortion) has been revised to reflect the authors change of view in which he now rejects the notion that a new human being comes into existence only after the opportunity for twinning has passed; (3) updated and rewritten chapter nine (Organ Donation) to include the continuing debate on the concept of brain death; and (4) added a new chapter on research ethics and embryology. It was chosen by World magazine as one of the 100 most important books published in the twentieth century.

Stern, Alexandra Minna. Eugenic Nation: Faults, and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

There are several reasons to challenge the prevailing historical understanding of eugenics and its underlying assumptions about time, place, and thematic relevance. First, the declension narrative of Nazism is so potent and seductive that it has often served as the principal lens through which much U.S. scholarship has framed eugenics. Eugenics, however, did not perish after World War II; postwar eugenicists partly accepted the role of extrinsic factors and incorporated tenets from demography, sex research, psychoanalysis, and anthropology into their repertoires.

The second reason is that until recently, the eugenics historiography, like much of the history of medicine, has been quite East Coast-centric. But over the past decade, studies focused on Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Indiana, and Oregon have underscored the multi-dimensional presence of eugenics from coast to coast.

A third reason is that, as feminist scholars have shown, placing gender and sexuality at the center of the analysis reconfigures the history of eugenics, demanding substantial temporal and thematic revisions, and delineating a story that is at once more ordinary and more complex. …

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