Technology and Human Reproduction

The Auckland Medical Aid Trust (AMAT)[1] was incorporated under the New Zealand Charitable Trusts Act in 1974. Although AMAT is charitable, it is public rather than private and is located in the ‘not-for-profit’ discourse[2]. As a public institution, it must make itself accountable. This report is one of its means of accountability.

AMAT’s objects can be summarised as empowering to address issues concerning: the support of human reproduction; and the provision of education including the research, publication and dissemination of literature about human reproduction. But ideas such as ‘research‘, ‘education‘, ‘human‘, and ‘reproduction‘ are problematic in that they depend, in part, on how they are interpreted under modern technologically mediated conditions.

As an example, to the extent that technological change is proceeding beyond the capacity of many of society’s institutions to interpret and adjust, it is an inadequate move to attempt to explain knowledge concerning human reproduction under one domain (e.g., within a medical discourse). There is therefore, considerable importance to be attached to placing the discussion of technologies on an agenda for critical debate, especially about how they will, and ought to, impact education, learning, teaching, and evaluation, and also on the very process of policy formation[3] and therefore, their impact on the objects of AMAT.

This paper contextualises AMAT’s objects within a space circumscribed by the discourses of technology, economics and culture[4].[5]. This emphasis concerns AMAT because economic, cultural, and technological developments change the ways in which we know ourselves[6], what it means to be human, and therefore, the reproduction of the ‘human’. This is relevant in terms of the objects of AMAT because, in an international context, there is an educational focus on the relations between neoliberalism[7], globalisation and electronically mediated communications technologies[8]. Interpretation of its objects is therefore important to AMAT.

AMAT as a 'Not-For Profit' institution

The philosophical basis underlying recent societal and economic changes in New Zealand and several other Western countries has been explained as neoliberal...

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Interpreting AMAT’s objectives

An analysis of the language employed in interpreting the objects of AMAT is important, as it is the place where actual and possible forms of social organisation...

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Interpreting the idea of reproduction

A basic assumption of this paper is that as technology and knowledge interact, changes in one affect the other. It is important therefore to note their developments...

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Globalisation is an emergent feature in explanations about our social life today. It relates to the increasing interdependence and internationalisation of both formal institutions...Read More

The move from knowledge to information

Recently, there has been a fundamental change in the ways that scientific, social, and cultural knowledge is being produced...

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Technology and human reproduction

Andrew Feenberg[30] argues that explanations about technology fall into one of two major categories; instrumental and substantive. Instrumental theories are the most widely accepted...

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How can AMAT address these challenges?

In response to these issues AMAT will restructure its capacity in significant ways, including...

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AMAT's objectives are:

To establish and maintain a comprehensive health and welfare service related to the human reproductive process and its control...

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