Genomics, Gender and Genetic Capital: The Need for an Embodied Ethics of Reproduction

Bioethical Issues, Sociological Perspectives

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1438-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-501-7

ISSN: 1057-6290

Publication date: 1 January 2007


Prenatal comes from the Latin words ‘prae’ and ‘natalis’ meaning ‘before’ and ‘to be born’, respectively (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1995). This word is semiotically loaded because ‘prenatal’ connotes the time before being born. The word itself signifies the foetus (who is ‘before being born’) not the pregnant body within whom the foetus grows. If medical experts working within the discipline of reproductive medicine concentrate more on the foetus and its health than the pregnant woman, they take this meaning to heart. Experts argue that ‘a multidisciplinary approach to the foetus is essential part of antenatal screening’ (Malone, 1996, p. 157), a view suggesting that the foetus, more than a pregnant woman, is the physician's main focus during the prenatal period.


Ettorre, E. (2007), "Genomics, Gender and Genetic Capital: The Need for an Embodied Ethics of Reproduction", Katz Rothman, B., Mitchell Armstrong, E. and Tiger, R. (Ed.) Bioethical Issues, Sociological Perspectives (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 245-261.

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