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Genes, Genealogies, Generations

by Ormart, Elizabeth

“Parallel Mothers”, by Pedro Almodóvar, is a film of enormous bioethical interest. Presents at least three topics identified in the UNESCO Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights. In the first place, the issue of good practices in health, based on a situation of malpractice in the field of obstetrics. Second, the issue of filiation, in relation to decisions that affect future generations. In this regard, the film allows an interesting reflection on the classic parable of King Solomon:

As reported in the Bible, Kings 3:16–28, two mothers living in the same house, each the mother of an infant son, came to Solomon. One of the babies had been smothered, and each claimed the remaining boy as her own. Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment: the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half. One mother did not contest the ruling, declaring that if she could not have the baby then neither of them could, but the other begged Solomon, "Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!". The king declared the second woman the true mother, as a mother would even give up her baby if that was necessary to save its life, and awarded her custody. This judgment became known throughout all of Israel and was considered an example of profound wisdom. [1]

Thirdly, the film introduces the question of mourning, both singular and collective, and the practices of forensic medicine in the exercise of historical memory. Following in the footsteps of the Antigone, of Sophocles, history makes it possible to recover, twenty-five centuries later, the value of the grave.

The full article is currently only available in Spanish. See at: Madres Paralelas by Elizabeth Ormart



NOTE

[1Extracted from Wikipedia, 02-28-22 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgement_of_Solomon.