Through the close study of an emerging genetic specialism, The Gene, the Clinic and the Family counters techno-science predictions of the 'death of the clinic'. The book enters the world of the clinic from the perspective of the family, as well as the consultants, to examine how genetic research on dysmorphology acts as an emergent system of classification. It asks: how are 'classes' of genetic troubles being produced, and how are these 'new' syndromes being embedded in society? What the analysis shows is how this alignment of the family and the gene revives medical power, because it gives medicine more grounds upon which to perform clinical judgement as critical to society. Although medicine may appear less controlling, interested or 'excoriating' than writers such as Illich, Zola, Friedson, or Navarro originally proposed, developments in reproductive technology and the new genetics nonetheless seem to entail our living, more than ever, in a 'medicalized society'. The book illuminates a future in which all reproduction is seen as potentially risky, with the clinic firmed up as the obligatory passage to responsible parenting.
Clinical judgement emerges as crucial to the legitimation of genetic techno-science, both in being central to the classification of genetic syndromes and key to the management of reproduction with all its implications for ethical selection.
Preface. Part I: Introduction and Background 1. Introduction 2. The Clinic as the Site of Science 3. 'Medicine' and 'Science' Part II: The Gene and Medicine 4. The 'Translation' of Growth and Form 5. Shaping the Science of Growth and Form Part III: The Clinic and Visibility 6. Creating Clinical Pictures 7. Rebirthing the Clinic 8. Dysmorphology's Portraits Part IV: The Family and Identities 9. Genes, Bodies, Persons 10. Medicine and 'the Family' 11. Transforming Family Part V: Medicine and Power 12. Conclusions