Siani, Merav, and Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf. “The Moral Reasoning of Genetic Dilemmas Amongst Jewish Israeli Undergraduate Students with Different Religious Affiliations and Scientific Backgrounds.” Journal of Genetic Counseling (early view; online first).
The main objective of this study was to shed light on the moral reasoning of undergraduate Israeli students towards genetic dilemmas, and on how these are affected by their religious affiliation, by the field they study and by their gender. An open ended questionnaire was distributed among 449 undergraduate students in institutions of higher education in Israel, and their answers were analyzed according to the framework described by Sadler and Zeidler (Science Education, 88(1), 4–27, 2004). They were divided into two major categories: those whose reasoning was based on the consideration of moral consequences (MC), and those who supported their opinion by citing non-consequentialist moral principles (MP). Students’ elaborations to questions dealing with values towards genetic testing showed a correlation between the students’ religious affiliation and their reasoning, with religious students’ elaborations tending to be more principle based than those of secular ones. Overall, the students’ elaborations indicate that their main concern is the possibility that their personal genetic information will be exposed, and that their body’s personal rights will be violated. We conclude the paper by offering several practical recommendations based on our findings for genetic counseling that is specifically tailored to fit different patients according to their background.
Na’amnih, Wasef, Orly Romano-Zelekha, Ahmed Kabaha, Liza Pollack Rubin, Natalya Bilenko, Lutfi Jaber, Mira Honovich, and Tamy Shohat. “Continuous Decrease of Consanguineous Marriages among Arabs in Israel.” American Journal of Human Biology 27.1 (2015): 94-98.
To describe the trend in the rate of consanguineous marriages among the Israeli Arab population and to identify factors associated with this custom shift in recent years.
The study was conducted between November 2009 and January 2010 in Family Health Centers. A questionnaire was presented to parents during routine visits to the center with their children.
Information on 6,437 couples was collected. The rate of consanguineous marriages decreased from 35.8% among those married before 2000, to 28.2% among those married in 2000–2004, and to 24.0% among those married in 2005–2009 (P for trend <0.001). First cousin marriages were the most common type of consanguineous marriages in all the time periods. Consanguineous marriages were associated with consanguinity between the couples’ parents (both husband and wife), a high consanguinity rate in the place of residence and younger age at marriage (wife).
The rates of consanguineous marriages among Israeli Arabs are decreasing but still high. Because consanguineous marriages are widely acceptable, the role of public health professionals and primary care personnel is to provide comprehensive information about the potential genetic risks of consanguinity on offspring health and to increase the accessibility of premarital and preconception counseling services.
Sharkia, R., J. Tarabeia, A. Zalan, E. Atamany, M. Athamna, and S. Allon-Shalev. “Factors Affecting the Utilization of Genetic Counseling Services among Israeli Arab Women.”Prenatal Diagnosis35.4 (2015): 370-375.
To assess the factors associated with utilization of genetic counseling services among pregnant Israeli Arab women.
A case–control study was conducted among 414 pregnant Arab women who were referred by a family physician or a perinatologist to genetic counseling services between 2008 and 2011. Data was collected using interviews, with both groups ‘users’ and ‘non-users’ of genetic counseling, based on a structured questionnaire including demographic, socio-economic, medical and cultural variables.
In multivariate analysis, factors affecting women’s utilization of genetic counseling service were high income level (OR 3.44, 95%CI 1.8–6.5, p < 0.001), high service accessibility (OR 0.75, 95%CI 0.67–0.84, p = 0.001), more positive attitude toward genetic counseling (OR 0.43, 95%CI 0.27–0.67, p = 0.012) and lower religiosity level (OR 1.40, 95%CI 0.94–2.09, p = 0.04). However, when we examined the following variable: pregnant woman’s age, woman’s education, consanguinity and pregnancy’ age, knowledge level and the perspective toward abortion, no significant differences were found between the users and non-users groups.
The underutilization of genetic counseling services among pregnant Israeli Arab women was associated with the following: lower income level, attitude toward genetic counseling, accessibility to service and religiosity. Thus, it is advisable to expand genetic counseling service within this community
The Israeli State recently announced that it may begin to use genetic tests to determine whether potential immigrants are Jewish or not. This development would demand a rethinking of Israeli law on the issue of the definition of Jewishness. In this article, we discuss the historical and legal context of secular and religious definitions of Jewishness and rights to immigration in the State of Israel. We give a brief overview of different ways in which genes have been regarded as Jewish, and we discuss the relationship between this new use of genetics and the society with which it is co-produced. In conclusion, we raise several questions about future potential impacts of Jewish genetics on Israeli law and society.
Yael Hashiloni-Dolev, A Life (Un)Worthy of Living: Reproductive Genetics in Israel and Germany. International Library of Ethics, Law and the New Medicine, 34. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer, 2007.
Daniel Sperling, “Review,” Shofar 28.2 (2010): 216-219.