Cover

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Frontmatter

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Cover and Front Matter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Ideas for this book began in a discussion over coffee, developed into a disseration, and now fill the pages that follow. This project would not have proceeded without the critique, support, and encouragement of a great number of people...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

People throughout history have struggled with the challenges of infertility and with the issues that naturally arise when considering the implementation of means to circumvent it. New and sophisticated techniques designed to overcome human infertility are at the cutting edge of modern medical science, bringing with them a host of controversial bioethical issues. North American...

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1. Medicine, Bioethics, and Religious Voices

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pp. 7-27

In recent years, the demographics of the population of the United States have been changing throughout the entire country. Though diversity is not new to the United States, the change is in the degree of he diversity, both in terms of numbers of people and variety of traditions, cultures, and religions. The increase in diversity comes from immigrants who establish...

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2. Voices from Hinduism's Past

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pp. 29-47

Setting a context for a dialogue on infertility and assisted reproductive technology, the previous chapter demonstrated the relevance, benefits, and necessity of examining diverse religious positions concerning bioethical issues. We now turn our attention to voices from Hinduism's past by focusing on the narratives within the...

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3. Narrative as a Source of Ethics

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pp. 49-62

In the previous chapter we discussed the stories of how Kuntī, Mādrī, and Gāndhārī dealt with the challenges of conceiving. We saw how these ancient narratives preserve creative attitudes toward conception and child birth. This epic contains more than simply fascinating or entertaining stories; it preserves key elements of Hindu thought that informed the past and that may provide...

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4. Characteristics of Hindu Thought

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pp. 63-75

From our discussion of attitudes regarding assisted reproductive technology preserved within the Mahābhārata, we can uncover some underlying characteristics of Hinduism. Prior to constructing a Hindu ethic regarding assisted reproductive technology, it is necessary to ensure a basic understanding of some of the underlying themes and key principles operating within Hindu religious traditions. As already ...

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5. Application of Hindu Thought

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pp. 77-97

Although principles and characteristics extracted from the Mahābhārata are foundational for many Hindu traditions, we need to reemphasize that Hinduism, like other religious traditions, is not monolithic. It is a conglomeration of religious traditions that cherish their multivalent natures. Sharma remarks that ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 99-108

Through an examination of narratives within the Mahābhārata, we found that its characters reflect a creativity and moral openness that is common to many within Hindu traditions. As we explored this influential Indian epic, we discovered principles, ideas, and characteristics of thought that together distinguish...

Endnotes

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pp. 109-141

Bibliography

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pp. 143-156

Index

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pp. 157-161