Screening Jews and genes: a consideration of the ethics of genetic screening within the Jewish community: challenges and responses

Genet Test. 1999;3(2):207-13. doi: 10.1089/gte.1999.3.207.


Screening for genetic disorders, particularly Tay-Sachs Disease, has been traditionally welcome by the Jewish community. I review the history of genetic screening among Jews and the views from the Jewish tradition on the subject, and then discuss ethical challenges of screening and the impact of historical memories upon future acceptance of screening programs. Some rational principles to guide future design of genetic screening programs among Jews are proposed.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Therapeutic / history
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Eugenics / history
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing* / history
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Jews / genetics*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prejudice
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Tay-Sachs Disease / genetics
  • Tay-Sachs Disease / history
  • Tay-Sachs Disease / prevention & control