Based on a variety of empirical materials 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. TOC:Foreword.- 1. Theoretical Background.- 2. Methodology.- 3. Getting to Know the Field of Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany. 4. Genetic Counselors' Moral Practices.- 5. Abortions on Embryopathic Grounds: Policy and Practice in Israel and Germany.- 6. Sex Chromosome Anomalies (SCA) in Israel and Germany: Assessing "Birth Defects" and Medical Risks According to the Importance of Fertility.- 7. "Wrongful Life", in the eyes of the law, the counselors and the disabled.- 8. The Conflicts between Individuals, Families and Society, as well as between Different Family Members, Embodied in Reproductive Genetics.- Epilogue: Biopolitics at the beginning of life. Appendix.
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