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The New York Times

"Few things are tougher for a parent than dealing with a child's serious medical condition, particularly if it is complicated and hard to diagnose. Recently, the situation of these parents has gotten even harder. Some doctors and hospitals have begun to level a radical new charge — “medical child abuse” — against parents who, they say, get unnecessary or excessive treatment for their kids...."


The Free-Market Family and Children’s Caretaking, 71 FLA. L. REV. F. 45 (2019).

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The Privatized American Family, 93 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 213 (2017).
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Bad Medicine: Parents, the State, and the Charge of "Medical Child Abuse," 50 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 205 (2016).
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Market-Cautious Feminism, 69 STUDIES IN LAW, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY 141, SPECIAL ISSUE: FEMINIST LEGAL THEORY (Austin Sarat, ed., 2016).
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The Supportive State: Government, Dependency, and Responsibility for Caretaking, in CARE ETHICS AND POLITICAL THEORY (Hamington & Engster eds.) (Oxford Univ. Press 2015).
HM681.E54 2015

Review Essay, The Family in Context, 128 HARV. L. REV. 1980 (2015).
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The Family and the Market--Redux, 13 THEORETICAL INQ. L. 97 (Rights and Obligations in the Contemporary Family: Retheorizing Individualism, Families and the State Symposium) (2012).
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Families, Human Dignity, and State Support for Caretaking:  Why the United States' Failure to Ameliorate the Work-Family Conflict is a Dereliction of the Government's Basic Responsibilities, 88 N.C. L. REV. 1593 (2010).
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Feminism, Queer Theory, & Sexual Citizenship, in GENDER EQUALITY: DIMENSIONS OF WOMEN'S EQUAL CITIZENSHIP, (with J. Grossman and L. McClain) (Cambridge Press 2009).
SSRN | KF478 .G46 2009

Dependency and the Liberal Polity: On Martha Fineman's The Autonomy Myth, 93 CAL. L. REV. 1285 (2005).
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On Postmodernist Feminist Legal Theory, 36 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 1 (2001).
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Eichner’s book is rich with data and individual stories illustrating that American families are in jeopardy today, with more unstable families than any other wealthy democracy.  ‘Society rises or falls based on the well-being of our families,’ says Eichner. ‘Yet in the United States, when we think about rights, we think about liberty and equality but don’t think about the texture of our lives and how important relationships are within those lives.’


The United States is a hard place to raise children these days. Most parents, no matter what social and economic status they hold, discover just how difficult almost as soon as the woman’s pregnancy is confirmed. Because medical coverage in the United States is mostly privatized and its quality is often based on one’s income, the risks to mother and child can begin at that point. However, it is once the child is born that the real struggle begins. 

The Page 99 Test

Excerpt from page 99: "[W]e know that parents taking longer paid leaves of up to a year reduce children’s death rates, and that leaves beyond six months improve mothers’ mental health, which leads to better parenting. Furthermore, significant research suggests that children suffer small but significant cognitive setbacks when parents return to work before a child reaches one year."

Campaign for the American Reader

US families have been pushed to the wall. At the bottom of the economic ladder, poor and working-class adults aren't forming stable relationships and can't give their kids the start they need because of low wages and uncertain job prospects. Toward the top, professional parents' lives have become a grinding slog of long hours of paid work. Meanwhile their kids are overstressed by pressure to succeed and get into good colleges. In this provocative book, Maxine Eichner argues that these very different struggles might seem unconnected, but they share the same root cause: the increasingly large toll that economic inequality and insecurity are taking on families.

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