infanticide articles in detail.docx

5 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
William Watson

Kramar and Watson FOCUS both atavistic theories and medicalization theories are wrong Analysis of 1922 and 1938 Infanticide Law is often depicted as clear examples of the medicalization of womens deviance and the broader biomedical colonization of the law issue of linking womens deviance to reproductive difference and to thereby decontextualize and depoliticize womens experiences SO arguments against infanticide law claim that it diminishes womens responsibility within the law and that womens deviance should be colonized taken over into other fields issue of jury and judicial sympathy based on the socioeconomic distress of young women perceived as victims of male seduction and abandonment and so convictions were historically rare especially for the death penalty the mandatory death penalties which accompanied the rare murder convictions had always been commuted Atavistic Theoryinfanticide as an instance of womens supposed propensity for atavistic psychosomatic regression and rationalized primitive infanticide practices BUT Medicine cannot colonize law but can only place external pressures on law to which law responds by developing new legal categories which are never medicolegalthey are not incorporated into the law but are reconstructed within legal discourse an example of this is insanity law there is a legal definition of insanity as well as a medicalpsychological definition SO there is no medicalization of infanticide law by referring to puerperallactational insanity or childbirth psychosis Wards Analysisat odds with the medicalization thesis a the 1922 act restricted its application to women who kill very newlyborn babies b existing lay theory that women in childbirth are prone to temporarily lose reason or selfcontrol ODonovanclaims that the law was a judicial effort to avoid death sentences which would not be executed and medical theory provided a convenient reason for changing the law the 1938 Act was an eventual response to the dominant biosocial theories only served to make infanticide more psychiatrically plausible with the additions of the old lay theories of childbirthlactation insanity commonsense basis of the 1922 acts biologism Kramar and Watsonmove theory further than Wards autopoiesis the 1922 act legislation did not reflect the extant psychiatric theory infanticide does not embody or define stable unitary and determinate medicolegal relations of the kinds required by medicalization and legal autopoiesis Hunter latches infanticide to the scenario such homicides occur at moments of profound social despair by women facing complete ruin for life because there were often extenuating circumstances and hence juror sympathy flexibility in punishment was required and so cannot impose death sentence needed a way to mitigate the mandatory penalty role of medical professional was to impress upon the public and political elite the full seriousness of infanticide as a form of violence and as a public health problem relationship between reproductive process and disorders of the mind found no plausible scientific connection research points that there is no medicalscientific connection and so it is more a socioeconomic theory that lactationpuerperal insanity arises in this fashion mental disturbance not produced by physical deficiencies idea that lactation mixed with exhaustion due to socioeconomic deprivation might cause different forms of mental disorder Atavistic Theorylinks the killing of the very newly born among humans to that occurring in nature animals women especially in reproductive processes as close to nature chimed with criminological theories ie Lombroso criminals were compared to savages Lombrosos idea of the born criminal retreat from civility and biological degenerationcould point to issue of women as primitive less evolved less rational and so less responsible W C Sullivan criminal acts divided into offensive and defensive defensive form is an attempt on the part of the criminal to avoid detection the social are much more important than the anthropological factors infanticide is indicative of defensive form the crime is not distinctive of the criminal degenerateinfanticide as defensive not characteristic of the ordinary criminalpoints to atavistic theory of leaving the child rather than killing infanticide explained largely as an effect of lifestyle and patriarchal social and economic arrangements at odds with the atavistic theory aboriginals practiced infanticide labeled as primitive lacking in moral sensibility and incapable of understanding the wrong they were committing act of infanticide was not one born out of aggression or lack of feeling since infants were left to die rather than killed directly eg exposure by Greeks
More Less

Related notes for WDW101Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.