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AFRO-NETS> Reproductive Health Research Methods Course (2)
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> Reproductive Health Research Methods Course (2)
- From: Christian Labadie <CLabadie@t-online.de>
- Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 17:19:07 -0500 (EST)
Reproductive Health Research Methods Course (2)
Dear Nomsa Mtimkulu,
I seem to understand that under the reproductive health research, "the
course will also discuss issues around how to influence the policy
process". When I first read the title "Reproductive Health Research
Methods Course", I was quite curious to find out what kind of research
it would cover. For instance -- perhaps due to a "scientific" bias on
my part -- I was naively wondering if South Africa would consider re-
search on a male pile . Now I am surprised to find out that research
could be performed on the process of "influencing the policy process"?
Shouldn't research findings help policy makers to take decisions? Would
you have a reference of an article in which such research methodology
has been described within the context of reproductive health?
My question is in part motivated by the complexity of today's reproduc-
tive "behaviours" in the world. To help you better understand my ques-
tion, may I add the following: in Spring 1987, Dr. James Watson (Nobel
price for the co-discovery of the DNA structure) of the Cold Spring
Harbor Laboratory had explained to undergraduate students of the State
Univ. of NY why he thought that US fundings for the human genome pro-
ject should be won by the US NIH grant agency and not by the DOE (dept.
of energy); towards the end of the question session that followed, I
asked Dr. Watson about the relation between his human genome project
and "family planing"; he looked quite embarrassed by my question and
after giving a vague and short answer, it was decided to close the
question session; today reproductive health is placing tremendous
stress on Western women to deliver perfect babies, either by early
screening combined with abortion or by egg selection (an aspect that
will intensify with the completion of the human genome project).
Then what would you understand under "influencing the policy process"
and "reproductive health"? It could very well mean "screening" of ge-
netic abnormalities. Then who should define what is abnormal, the pol-
icy makers or the research? Those questions have been asked since 1986
by Dr. Jacques Testart  when he decided to stop research on human
reproduction for morality reasons.
 Jacques Testart (1999) Des hommes probables: de la procréation aléatoire à la reproduction normative. Ed. Seuil, Collection "science ouverte", ISBN 2.02.036749.1
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