Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics

By Paul E. Brodwin | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
“From Generation to Generation”
Imagining Connectedness in the
Age of Reproductive Technologies

THOMAS W. LAQUEUR

Strange, a strange thing is the common blood [“splankhon” =
that which springs forth] we spring from—

—Aeschylus, Seven against Thebes

Suppose I had one hundred percent access to the facts, and one
hundred percent knowledge of the laws of nature. None of this
would tell me whether a surrogate mother should keep her baby.

—Richard Feyman, in response to a request
to join a “science court,” 1988

I want to begin with an extraordinarily tangled and complex set of claims made by a gestational surrogate living in northern California.1 In response to the question, “Did you have any difficulty giving up the baby you had carried for nine months,” Ms. A. offers the following reply:

“You know, I think it just sits in your mind the whole time that it’s not my
baby. I’m just letting it use my body. I’m just growing it for someone else
who can’t do it.” (qtd. in Roberts)

Three things interest me about these sentences. While the baby sits in Ms. A.’s womb, “it”—presumably the thought “not my baby”—sits in her mind. The manifest physical fact of gestation is opposed by an idea. (Actually, she hides a referent at still another level; “your” mind could either mean “my” mind or more probably “one’s,” the normative mind.) Second, the difficulty of discovering more precisely what “it” refers to suggests the enormous amount of cultural work being done in this single sentence. “It” has no grammatical antecedent; it functions to prefigure the phrase “that it’s not my baby,” but this leaves us to wonder whether she regards this as a fact, a belief, as something she subscribed to when signing the surrogacy contract. In short, what are the grounds for Ms. A. believing that what sits in her mind is so easily abstracted from what sits in her womb?

-75-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 297

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.