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Zalusky, S. (2000). Infertility in the Age of Technology. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 48(4):1541-1562.

(2000). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 48(4):1541-1562

Infertility in the Age of Technology

Sharon Zalusky

Rapid advances in medical and biological technologies are changing the ways we are born live, and die. Biotechnology is pushing us in our notion of what is possible, and tapping into our most primitive omnipotent fantasies. For the most part these new techniques have not yet been integrated into a shared social consciousness. This paper examines, in a case study of a woman who eventually got pregnant with a donor egg and in a shorter case vignette, how the new technology impacts upon the analytic process. Attention is focused on the permeability of the boundaries between analyst and patient and between fantasy and action. The study shows how analyst and patient, together and often for the first time, must face the difficult moral and ethical issues stimulated by such procedures, as well as the anxieties and underlying fantasies they evoke. It is the uniqueness and the intensity of this experience that permeates boundaries, stimulates emotion in patient and analyst alike, and has the potential to deepen the analytic bond. The study underlines the need for the analyst to be flexible, moving back and forth between interpreting and creating a needed holding environment. Finally, the paper points out the tension between the traditional roles of motherhood, fatherhood, and family and those being created in this high-tech world.

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