|A Life (Un)Worthy of Living|
Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany
2007, Gb, (Springer)
This book presents the findings of a study into the social shaping of reproductive genetics in Germany and Israel, two exceptionally interesting social settings, which share a traumatic history. Based on a variety of empirical materials (including in-depth interviews with genetic counsellors and survey data on their practices and opinions, as well as analysis of legal, religious, professional and media texts), the study reveals dramatic differences between the way that the German and Israeli societies address the question of a life (un)worthy of living: while in Germany, social, cultural, religious and legal conditions restrict the selection of embryos based on prenatal diagnosis, in Israel they strongly encourage it. A close comparative analysis of the ways that these two societies handle the delicate balance between the quality and sanctity of life illuminates the controversy around reproductive genetics in an original and provocative way. The study is also innovative in its use of contemporary social theory concerning the politics of life in comprehending the differences between two societies positioned at opposite extremes in their adoption of reproductive geneticS It thus offers an original cross-cultural discussion concerning present-day techno-medical manipulations of life itself.