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Shelby, R. (2017). A Cell Is Not Just a Cell. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(8):530-534.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(8):530-534

A Cell Is Not Just a Cell

R. Dennis Shelby, MSW, Ph.D.

Two brief case reports are utilized to illustrate phenomena that arise as women seek known individuals to donate sperm cells for the purposes of assisted reproductive technology. Intrapsychic and interpersonal dynamics arise and, at times, collide. Close scrutiny reveals a number of fantasies on the part of all participants: those seeking a donor, potential donors, and the parents of women seeking a donor. These very human forces play out in the context of highly controlled biomedical procedures. I caution that human beings bring the depths of their very human minds to these procedures, and infuse cells with meaning far beyond the technical procedures involved in ART.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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