By Yael Hashiloni-Dolev

This publication provides the findings of a learn into the social shaping of reproductive genetics in Germany and Israel, tremendously fascinating social settings, which proportion a tense background.

Based on various empirical fabrics (including in-depth interviews with genetic counsellors and survey info on their practices and evaluations, in addition to research of felony, spiritual, specialist and media texts), the research unearths dramatic changes among the way in which that the German and Israeli societies handle the query of a lifestyles (un)worthy of dwelling: whereas in Germany, social, cultural, spiritual and criminal stipulations limit the choice of embryos in response to prenatal prognosis, in Israel they strongly inspire it.

A shut comparative research of the ways in which those societies deal with the fragile stability among the standard and sanctity of existence illuminates the debate round reproductive genetics in an unique and provocative method. The research can also be leading edge in its use of up to date social idea in regards to the politics of lifestyles in comprehending the variations among societies located at contrary extremes of their adoption of reproductive genetics. It hence deals an unique cross-cultural dialogue relating present-day techno-medical manipulations of lifestyles itself.

‘This is a special and brave booklet. Yael Hashiloni-Dolev studied the sphere of reproductive genetics in Israel and Germany, and located out that whereas in Germany social, cultural, felony and spiritual stipulations limit the choice of embryos in line with prenatal prognosis, it's strongly inspired in Israel. This unforeseen discovering is brilliantly analyzed via the writer. hence this glorious publication has to be learn and mentioned by means of social scientists, human geneticists, genetic counsellors, bio ethicists and scientific students.'

Benno Müller – Hill, Dr. rer. nat. em. Prof. on the Institute of Genetics of the college of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

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Extra resources for A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany

Sample text

Bourdieau or M. Foucault. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 13 theory, as well as Foucault’s approach, contemporary social theory commonly imagines the private body as itself a politically inscribed entity, shaped and marked by histories and practices of control (Bordo, 1999). Current discussions in medical sociology and anthropology, feminist studies and the sociology of the body, see bodies as concrete articulations of abstract social paradigms and understand modern societies to be regulating bodies, as part of their ongoing construction of a collective identity (Weiss, 2002).

According to information collected through other interviews, I have reason to believe that these institutions are especially permissive in their attitudes towards the selection of embryos (as they are the same ones alluded to above, who also did not return the questionnaires). This stance could be a possible explanation for their unwillingness to participate in a study inquiring into ethical positions. For this reason, the Israeli sample might suffer from some underestimation of the phenomenon of the Israeli counselors’ support for the detection and selection of “abnormal” fetuses.

When setting out to an interview I had prepared a set of fixed questions (see Appendix 6) about opinions concerning different issues, such as the standards for entry into the human community, the good of society, the legal and moral standing of the fetus and its parents, disability, the goals of genetic counseling, science and progress and the history and consequences of medical genetics. However, in practice the conversations were open-ended. I set out with one set of questions but enlarged and transformed them as during the interviews I became more knowledgeable about my field of study and its dilemmas.

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