Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 183–187 | Cite as

Disability Rights, Prenatal Diagnosis and Eugenics: A Cross-Cultural View

  • Aviad E. Raz
Professional Issues


This paper considers the disability rights critique of genetic testing in the context of different communities and the issue of nondirectiveness. Despite the wide usage of genetic diagnosis in Israel, no public debate has emerged there concerning disability rights and prenatal testing. The common attitude that emerged from interviews with Israeli representatives of organizations “of’’ and “for’’ people with genetic diseases and congenital disabilities can be described as a two-fold view of disability: support of genetic testing during pregnancy, and support of the disabled person after birth. This two-fold view is explained as a secular construction situated in legal, economic and cultural contexts. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the “two-fold view’’ of disability for the profession of genetic counseling. It is argued that awareness of the existence of conflicting views among clients—such as the view of the ‘disability critique’ as well as of the “two-fold view of disability’’—should strengthen the significance of nondirectiveness.

Key Words

disability rights prenatal diagnosis eugenics Israel non-directiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBe’er-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Ben-Gurion UniversityIsrael

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