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Allison, G. Doria-Medina, R. (1999). New Reproductive Techniques. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 80(1):163-166.

(1999). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 80(1):163-166

New Reproductive Techniques

George Allison and Roberto Doria-Medina

Introducing the panel, the Chairman, George Allison, mentioned the speculative nature of previous papers presented in San Francisco on the subject and asserted that analysed people had better outcomes in artificial fertilisation, just as they did in somatic treatments.

Joan Raphael-Leff accompanied her presentation with projected transparencies, accompanying theoretical considerations and clinical vignettes, to convey condensed information and as iconic representations of unconscious fantasies, stating that all she was attempting was to bring forward a variety of ‘tasters’ on a complex subject within the brief time allocated. She suggested that new realities were racing ahead, changing faster than the unconscious could keep up with in such a way that even the wildest fantasies could now be lived out in reality. Not only sex without babies is possible but to have babies without sex also. Even miracles could happen in the sense of post-menopausal women giving birth, post-humous insemination being available and grand-mothers gestating their own grandchildren.

This presenter suggested that under the present circumstances of media exposure and debate there seemed to be a general attempt to process the emotional implications of this state of affairs. New reproductive technologies were impelling us into a moral maze of complex psychological issues without our understanding their long-term consequences. ‘Can we psychoanalysts afford not to question our basic assumptions about the foundations of Law and Reason and about the triumph of intellectuality over sensuality that rest, according to Freud, on paternal acknowledgement?’ she asked.

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