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Psychological aspects of artificial procreation


Ernst, Cécile (1989). Psychological aspects of artificial procreation. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 3(1):89-105.

Abstract

Research on infertile couples applying for treatment is scanty. Their education and socioeconomic status are above average and their marriages extraordinarily stable. Allowing for the stress of infertility and its treatment, they appear in psychological tests and psychiatric interviews very similar to controls. As prognosis on the quality of later parenthood for persons in the grey zone between complete psychological normalcy and definable psychiatric disorder is impossible, self selection for artificial procreation rather than selection by a team of psychologists and social workers should take place. A decision not to treat because of the presence of evident psychiatric disorder should be taken on the investigating physicians' own responsibility and explained to the couple. Very little as well is known about the development of children conceived by AID or IVF. There is no rationale for the belief that extraordinary expectations by their parents will impair their psychosocial development. The literature on adopted children puts the importance of so-called genealogic bewilderment in true perspective. Still the access to non-identifying information on donors could be useful for children and parents. As proof of genetic risk factors for major and minor psychiatric disorder is rapidly accumulating, a careful psychiatric screening of donors is recommended. By artificial procreation parenthood can be extended to widows, to single women and to homosexual couples. Epidemiologic studies in child and adult psychiatry make it evident that the quality of emotional relationship within a family is more important for psychosocial development of children than family structure. Today the rate of single parents is rapidly increasing. Nonetheless artificial procreation should not be used to promote social change and to create new structures. While fully acknowledging that the conventional family is neither of divine origin nor an anthropological necessity, a cautious attitude would be to wait until new structures are so well established and generally accepted that they attract the average person and make up an average environment for a child. Though a pluralistic society tends in the field of artificial procreation to shift from ethical to psychological arguments, the latter cannot be validly used against these techniques

Abstract

Research on infertile couples applying for treatment is scanty. Their education and socioeconomic status are above average and their marriages extraordinarily stable. Allowing for the stress of infertility and its treatment, they appear in psychological tests and psychiatric interviews very similar to controls. As prognosis on the quality of later parenthood for persons in the grey zone between complete psychological normalcy and definable psychiatric disorder is impossible, self selection for artificial procreation rather than selection by a team of psychologists and social workers should take place. A decision not to treat because of the presence of evident psychiatric disorder should be taken on the investigating physicians' own responsibility and explained to the couple. Very little as well is known about the development of children conceived by AID or IVF. There is no rationale for the belief that extraordinary expectations by their parents will impair their psychosocial development. The literature on adopted children puts the importance of so-called genealogic bewilderment in true perspective. Still the access to non-identifying information on donors could be useful for children and parents. As proof of genetic risk factors for major and minor psychiatric disorder is rapidly accumulating, a careful psychiatric screening of donors is recommended. By artificial procreation parenthood can be extended to widows, to single women and to homosexual couples. Epidemiologic studies in child and adult psychiatry make it evident that the quality of emotional relationship within a family is more important for psychosocial development of children than family structure. Today the rate of single parents is rapidly increasing. Nonetheless artificial procreation should not be used to promote social change and to create new structures. While fully acknowledging that the conventional family is neither of divine origin nor an anthropological necessity, a cautious attitude would be to wait until new structures are so well established and generally accepted that they attract the average person and make up an average environment for a child. Though a pluralistic society tends in the field of artificial procreation to shift from ethical to psychological arguments, the latter cannot be validly used against these techniques

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:1 January 1989
Deposited On:16 Oct 2018 15:53
Last Modified:24 Nov 2018 02:57
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1360-9939
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/3.1.89
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicenceoxford101093lawfam3189 (Library Catalogue)

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