Normal humanness, change and power in human assisted reproductive technology: an analysis of the written public submissions to the New Zealand Parliamentary Health Committee in 2003

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dc.contributor.author Park, Julie, 1947 en
dc.contributor.author McLauchlan, Laura en
dc.contributor.author Frengley, Elizabeth en
dc.date.accessioned 2008-03-05T02:41:29Z en
dc.date.available 2008-03-05T02:41:29Z en
dc.date.issued 2008 en
dc.identifier.citation RAL-e: research in anthropology and linguistics-e 2 en
dc.identifier.isbn 978-0-9582744-1-8 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/2395 en
dc.description Assisted human reproduction legislation has provoked wide-ranging debate in all those societies that have enacted it. New Zealand is no exception. The public submissions to the Parliamentary Health Committee on the Human Assisted Reproductive Technologies (HART) Bill and Supplementary Order Paper 80 provided an opportunity to consider how those who wrote submissions conceptualised important aspects of being human. Using an anthropological discourse analysis approach, the authors analysed the New Zealand submissions. One reviewer comments: “The work provides important further information on the wider topic of cultural understandings of innovative technologies in New Zealand society”; another wrote “contemporary, contentious and of great public concern ... it opens up the topic for further research”. en
dc.description.abstract The public submissions made to the Parliamentary Health Committee on the Human Assisted Reproductive Technologies (HART) Bill and Supplementary Order Paper 80 are analysed in this report. Within this corpus, five major themes are identified: normality, humanness, natural versus social constructs, moral decline, and rights and power. The report is organised on the basis of these overlapping themes. Running throughout these five very general themes were two major discourses: one Christian-identified; the other, medical-scientific. A minor discourse of disability rights was also present. Many submissions, from all three of the modes of discourse, expressed fear that assisted human reproductive (AHR) technologies were challenging the boundaries of normality. AHR technologies were seen in many submissions as potentially opening a door to eugenics and the commodification of humans. Such submissions often requested the establishment of more strict regulatory frameworks. The natural order lying behind kinship relations was seen to be greatly challenged by AHR in some submissions, particularly those which were Christianidentified. Many such submissions viewed the HART legislation as part of a general moral decline of society. While some submissions viewed AHR technology as distinctly unnatural, others asserted the naturalness of the human use and development of technology. The desire to have children was cast as natural throughout the submissions. The right of offspring to know their origins emerged as a key issue. Questions of whether the production of children was a right or a privilege, and whether AHR was a constraint or a support, also emerged from the submissions. Adherence to human rights was seen as fundamental within the submissions, with differing conclusions about the correct use of AHR technologies, influenced by whether the authors viewed personhood as being established at conception or at some later developmental stage. Placing our research into an international context, we note that the limited use of scientific (both social and bio-medical) evidence within the New Zealand debates contrasts greatly with the extensive use of such evidence within British Parliamentary debates. Other aspects of the submissions appear to be unique to New Zealand, including the emphasis upon the importance of whakapapa (genealogy) in the establishment of identity. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, Auckland New Zealand en
dc.relation.ispartofseries RAL-e: Research in Anthropology and Linguistics-e (2007+) en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA1805098 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.subject Human Assisted Reproductive Technology en
dc.subject Parliamentary Health Committee en
dc.subject New Zealand en
dc.subject Social Science en
dc.subject Public Health en
dc.title Normal humanness, change and power in human assisted reproductive technology: an analysis of the written public submissions to the New Zealand Parliamentary Health Committee in 2003 en
dc.type Research Report en
dc.subject.marsden Fields of Research::220000 Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts-General en
dc.subject.marsden Fields of Research::320000 Medical and Health Sciences en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: Dept. of Anthropology, University of Auckland en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.org-id Anthropology en


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