Current Institutional Affiliation
Law Clerk, US District Courts

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2012
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Harvard University
Thinking the Future Human: Debates on the Ethics of Diagnostic Reproductive Technologies in Germany, 1946 – 2001

My project traces the emergence of ethical debates on the proper use and regulation of diagnostic reproductive technologies through a number of social and professional groups in postwar Germany, including feminists, disability rights activists, bioethicists, theologians, legal scholars, and philosophers. My project explores initial attempts to articulate Germany's eugenic past in the context of disability and reproduction through the 1946 Doctor's Trial, 1960s Contergan scandal, and 1975 Federal Constitutional Court decision against a liberalized abortion law. It then explores a series of debates in the 1980s and 1990s on the impact of prenatal diagnosis and preimplantation genetic diagnosis to understand how participants in these debates implicitly or explicitly characterized an unborn "future human" when theorizing the proper use of these technologies. In constituting this "future human," such debates also frequently redefined the meaning of "disability." By exploring these ethical debates within the context of legal and economic regulations on both the national and supranational levels, I will analyze how they might be understood both as attempts to renegotiate Germany's eugenic past and as responses to technological modernity and economic liberalization in a postwar European society.