By Yael Hashiloni-Dolev
This booklet offers the findings of a research into the social shaping of reproductive genetics in Germany and Israel, highly fascinating social settings, which proportion a aggravating historical past.
Based on various empirical fabrics (including in-depth interviews with genetic counsellors and survey facts on their practices and critiques, in addition to research of felony, non secular, expert and media texts), the examine unearths dramatic modifications among the way in which that the German and Israeli societies tackle the query of a existence (un)worthy of residing: whereas in Germany, social, cultural, non secular and criminal stipulations limit the choice of embryos in keeping with prenatal prognosis, in Israel they strongly motivate 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 manner. The examine is additionally leading edge in its use of latest social thought about the politics of existence 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 existence itself.
‘This is a distinct and brave ebook. Yael Hashiloni-Dolev studied the sector of reproductive genetics in Israel and Germany, and located out that whereas in Germany social, cultural, criminal and spiritual stipulations limit the choice of embryos in line with prenatal prognosis, it really is strongly inspired in Israel. This unforeseen discovering is brilliantly analyzed by way of the writer. hence this wonderful e-book needs to be learn and mentioned by way 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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Additional info for A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany
And yet, one must remember that eugenic ideology and measures were in no way a German particularity (Adams, 1990; Kevles, 1985; Koch, 2004; Paul, 1995, 1998;). According to Müller-Hill (1996), Germany in the 1930s was seen as the avant-garde of eugenics, as almost all non-German eugenicists praised the German sterilization law of 1933. Accordingly, it was the violent anti-semitism and not the racial hygiene, which could not be sold to the international community. Even when the war was over, the sterilization law was not immediately perceived as a typical Nazi injustice and it was only in the 1990s that the surviving sterilized individuals were finally regarded as victims of the Nazis.
Rather, my explanation centers on the more immediate meanings of the practices of reproductive genetics, or on the German and Israeli bio-cultural concept of the beginning of life and the way it responds to basic questions relevant to reproductive genetics such as: when does life begin? How thick is the border between preand postnatal life? When is life “worthy of living” and when is it “wrongful”? Moreover, how legitimate is the technological manipulation of life itself? However, the perceived “good society”, in the sense of its genetic make-up and its relevance to the practice of repro-genetics is not overlooked, but rather postponed until the last chapters of the book and understood to result from a variety of complex factors.
Furthermore, in 1987, a Bundestag committee appointed in order to discuss chances and risks of gene technology (Bericht der Enquete-Komission “Chancen und Risiken der Gentechnologie”, 1987) mentioned a shortage of genetic counselors in Germany. Similarly, in my own interviews conducted in the summer of 2001, heads of genetic institutes and clinics, private and public, complained about a lack of younger-generation geneticists. Human Genetics in Germany from the 1960s onwards In the 1960s and early 1970s only a few departments of human genetics offered genetic counseling, while counseling centers did not exist at all in Germany.
A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany by Yael Hashiloni-Dolev
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