Reviews Book

Paternity: A Story of Assisted Conception; Double Trouble: A Story of Assisted Reproduction; Vacant Possession: A Story of Proxy Decision Making

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7515.520 (Published 01 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:520
  1. John Gillies, general practitioner (john.gillies@selkirkhc.borders.scot.nhs.uk)
  1. Selkirk

    Paternity: A Story of Assisted Conception


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    Hazel E McHaffie

    Radcliffe, £11.99, pp 236 ISBN 1 85775 652 5

    Rating: GraphicGraphicGraphic

    Double Trouble: A Story of Assisted Reproduction


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    Hazel E McHaffie

    Radcliffe, £11.99, pp 258 ISBN 1 85775 669 X

    Rating: GraphicGraphicGraphic

    Vacant Possession: A Story of Proxy Decision Making


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    Hazel E McHaffie

    Radcliffe, £11.99, pp 198 ISBN 1 85775 651 7

    Rating: GraphicGraphicGraphic

    It was the philosopher Isaiah Berlin who pointed out that the truth, or at least knowledge of facts, does not always set you free, and that freedom does not always bring about happiness. Setting aside the issues of defining truth and freedom, these novels—part of the Living Literature Series, edited by Brian Hurwitz, which aims to bring ethical issues to life—illustrate Berlin's points rather well. When Declan, in Paternity, finds out that he and his wife share a common father through artificial insemination, and that this consanguinity has been responsible for the death of their first child, he is racked by anguish. The freedom to use surrogacy as a solution to Heidi's infertility in Double Trouble (the sequel to Paternity) sets in motion a series of events that culminates in the violent and brutal death of one of the main characters. This is particularly shocking because the victim is the …

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