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Produced by Mary Armstrong; directed by Gwynne Basen Cinefort Inc. in co-production with the National Film Board (Studio D) and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1992. VHS cassette, 50:00 min., $26.95 or $39.95 for Part I and Part II. (On the Eighth Day: Perfecting Mother Nature, Part I). Distributed by the National Film Board.


Reviewed by C.L. Ross

Volume 21 Number 1
1993 January

This video is one of the most informative and frightening films I have ever seen. It is about the moral, social and medical ethics centering on fertilizing human embryos in petri dishes and then implanting them in women, in order for them to solve any infertility problems they and their partners may be having.

We have all heard the so-called positive side of these procedures, as they allow otherwise infertile couples to experience the joy of having a baby of their own. This film shows us the other side, the 85 per cent failure rate, the risks to health and even life in the actual procedures, and, worst of all, the doors to genetic engineering that are opened up by the process.

What is immediately apparent and quite startling is the fact that, with the exception of two men, the only people speaking out against these methods are women. What is equally apparent is that these fertility programs are big business and as a result have not been properly researched or tested. The implications, therefore, of the "guinea pig" status of the women who have the procedures done are staggering.

The quality of the video is excellent, with one small exception. A few of the scenes filmed at the Paris conference are somewhat grainy. Otherwise, the film moves along at an excellent pace, with interesting changes of speaker and content. The scenes of medical procedures have been done with taste and yet are exceedingly informative.

C.L. Ross is a librarian with the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna, British Columbia
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