By Yael Hashiloni-Dolev
This ebook offers the findings of a learn into the social shaping of reproductive genetics in Germany and Israel, particularly attention-grabbing social settings, which percentage a irritating historical past.
Based on a number of empirical fabrics (including in-depth interviews with genetic counsellors and survey info on their practices and critiques, in addition to research of criminal, non secular, specialist and media texts), the examine finds dramatic changes among the best way that the German and Israeli societies handle the query of a existence (un)worthy of residing: whereas in Germany, social, cultural, spiritual and criminal stipulations limit the choice of embryos in accordance with prenatal analysis, 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 talk round reproductive genetics in an unique and provocative manner. The research is additionally leading edge in its use of up to date social idea in regards to the politics of existence in comprehending the diversities among societies located at contrary extremes of their adoption of reproductive genetics. It therefore deals an unique cross-cultural dialogue referring to present-day techno-medical manipulations of existence itself.
‘This is a special 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 accordance with prenatal prognosis, it really is strongly inspired in Israel. This unforeseen discovering is brilliantly analyzed by means of the writer. hence this wonderful booklet has to be learn and mentioned via 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 collage of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
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Additional info for A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany
As a matter of fact, the type of differences I study emerge against a background of similarities between two modern, developed countries, with advanced scientific and medical systems and hence, with the same genetic knowledge (which serves as my “constant variable”). Although both are societies in which the field of reproduction is largely medicalized, a difference between Germany and Israel lies in the ways in which similar technologies are put to use and in the cultural logics of justification and rationalized myths built around them, as well as in their institutional strategies organizing fertility control.
Thus, before getting to know how this field is organized today and the contemporary opportunities and constraints embodied in it, let us look back in history, in order to learn how it became the way it is and what was the process of its institutionalization. A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Human Genetics after the War in Germany In the Nazi era, prominent German human geneticists had actively participated in formulating and implementing Nazi race ideology. Under the pretext of eugenically efficient measures, the Nazi party enforced sterilization, termination of pregnancy, asylum, prohibition of marriage and the murder of patients.
This claim is exemplified for instance by Wuerth (1997). who argues that the history of the “Third Reich” is responsible for the unified German abortion law, which counterpoints between the moral bankruptcy of Nazi Germany, as well as that of former East Germany and between the moral, unified German state, which protects all life. This protection of all life, which is also manifested in Germany’s position on stem cell research and in its embryo protection law, can be understood according to Wuerth, as a reaction to the past and as hallmark of the new “morally rehabilitated” Germany (see also Chapter 5).
A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany by Yael Hashiloni-Dolev