By Adrienne Asch

About Adrienne Asch

Adrienne Asch (1946–2013) was the Edward and Robin Milstein Professor of Bioethics at Yeshiva University and Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Family and Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She authored numerous articles and book chapters and coedited Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights (2000) and The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society (2002).


The field of disability studies already contributes to the understanding of reproduction and disability and can further enrich thinking on this topic. Whether scholars and policy makers focus on children who will be born with disabilities, or on the less commonly discussed area of people with disabilities becoming genetic or rearing parents, the basic questions raised by reproduction concern quality-of-life issues for the child and family, and the effects on the larger society. When a child is born with a disability, concerns focus on the impact of the disability upon the child her- or himself, the impact of living with such a child on the life of the (assumed-to-be-nondisabled) parents and siblings, and the consequences of childhood disability for the educational, social service, and health care systems. Scholars and policy makers who consider the person with a disability as a parent question whether he or she will transmit a genetic …

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