State regulation of donor insemination: An Israeli case study

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Donor insemination (DI) in Israel is state regulated. The Ministry of Health dictates a policy of total medicalization and secrecy. In this paper we analyze the state regulations in reference to their historical and cultural contexts. Our main argument is that in Israel, having children and establishing a family are of supreme importance, owing to Biblical myths as well as the Zionist ethos. The state, as the provider of health care services, encourages fertility treatments in general. However, DI, while assisting conception, results in a somewhat non-traditional family. In contradiction to trends towards openness observed in Western countries, Israel's state policy is one of hiding and camouflaging. We attribute this policy to the strict support of the 'natural family' paradigm, which equally gives DI-assisted families a problem no less than a solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-854
Number of pages16
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Donor insemination
  • Israel
  • Jew
  • Jewish tradition
  • Policy
  • Procreation
  • Reproduction
  • State

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Law


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