For the nonscientist who wants to catch up and join in, the book is an excellent starting point ... Rochman has found noted and well-spoken ethicists, scientists and genetic researchers who clearly articulate the pros and cons of the issues surrounding genetic screening, testing and treatments. The Gene Machine is well researched and written as a helpful guide on the choices potential parents may be called upon to make. It can also help guide society out of the ethical thickets planted by this advancing science.
...[a] thoughtful, engaging book ... Ms. Rochman argues that the notion of an open future is in some ways illusory, since we are inevitably forced to dance to the tunes programmed into our genes ... Ms. Rochman discusses the implications of this new technology and its potential to be abused by those espousing eugenic ideologies. More broadly, she correctly notes that right now both patients and physicians are poorly equipped to fully comprehend 'the stories that genes may whisper or shout within our bodies'.'
Rochman explains all manner of genetic tests, but don’t expect much enlightenment on the ethics. Many arguments are delineated by juxtaposing quotations from experts without any critical assessment of their merits ... surely there is much more to say about degrees of openness and how genetics might or might not fit into those different conceptions...Rochman never goes there.
Rochman takes a calm, thorough, and nonsensationalist look at core bioethical questions surrounding an array of reproductive health issues as well as the ethical spaces where what can be done and what should be done come into conflict. She clearly and accessibly describes cutting-edge technologies for the general reader without succumbing to faddish, uncritical enthusiasm ... Rochman’s thoughtful take highlights important issues for parenting in an increasingly high-information world.
Knowledge can be power, but as Rochman rightly points out, sometimes the ability to know doesn’t mean one should know. Solid research into the dilemmas regarding genetic screening and how it is used for fetuses and newborns.