Within forty-eight hours after birth, the heel of every baby in the United States has been pricked and the blood sent for compulsory screening to detect or rule out a large number of disorders. Newborn screening is expanding rapidly, fueled by the prospect of saving lives. Yet many lives are also changed by it in ways not yet recognized.
Testing Baby is the first book to draw on parents' experiences with newborn screening in order to examine its far-reaching sociological consequences. Rachel Grob's cautionary tale also explores the powerful ways that parents' narratives have shaped this emotionally charged policy arena. Newborn screening occurs almost always without parents' consent and often without their knowledge or understanding, yet it has the power to alter such things as family dynamics at the household level, the context of parenting, the way we manage disease identity, and how parents' interests are understood and solicited in policy debates.
Praise for Testing Baby:"Grob provokes the reader to think deeply about a taken-for-granted aspect of the medicalization of reproduction in the United States."
—Rayna Rapp, Ph.D., author of Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America
About the Author:
Rachel Grob is Scholar in Residence and Director of National Initiatives at the Center for Patient Partnerships (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Health Advocacy faculty member at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the co-editor of Patients as Policy Actors (Rutgers University Press).