By Yael Hashiloni-Dolev
This booklet provides the findings of a research into the social shaping of reproductive genetics in Germany and Israel. The research finds dramatic adjustments among German and Israeli societies in addressing the query of a existence (un)worthy of dwelling. a detailed research of the ways in which those societies deal with the stability among the standard and sanctity of existence illuminates controversies over reproductive genetics in an unique and provocative method.
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Additional info for A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany (International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine)
However, for now, my starting point will be to ask: is expert advice, and in our case genetic counseling, similar in all modern nations? To be more concrete, I will ask: do genetic counselors in Israel and Germany conceive of the “normal” fetus in a similar fashion? Or is the bio cultural concept of “life” defined alike in the two professional cultures? MEDICAL EXPERTS’ DEFINITIONS OF THE “NORMAL” AND THE “PATHOLOGICAL” Contemporary knowledge and discourse of fetuses’ “normality” and of genetic risks emerges from both expert and lay sources.
22 CHAPTER 2 explaining that they could not answer it for various reasons, such as having left the field of counseling in favor of laboratory work. Fifty-seven questionnaires (35%) were returned. I cannot estimate how many people might not have received the questionnaire or found them to be irrelevant to their line of work, since no contact was made other than through the above-mentioned list, which unfortunately is updated somewhat infrequently. Counselors who had moved without leaving a forwarding address, had passed away or had left the field, might thus reduce the original sample considerably, in both the first and second surveys.
These newer theories, which break away from the concepts of values or norms, differ in the way they conceptualize the relationship 16 CHAPTER 1 between social agents and social structure and in their emphasis on questions of social power. Yet, what is common to most of them is the fact that they tend to overlook the relationship between cultural practices and moral reasoning. Because of this weakness and due to the centrality of moral questions related to the issue of “life”, with which this study is dealing, I have chosen to work with the critical sociology of Boltanski and Thévenot (1999, 2006), which as argued by Resnik and Frenkel (2000), brings into the sociological discussion moral questions that have formerly been monopolized by moral philosophy.
A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany (International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine) by Yael Hashiloni-Dolev