Alisa Feldman

Penn Humanities Forum Undergraduate Fellow

20172018 Forum on Afterlives

Alisa Feldman

Health and Societies

CAS, 2018

Alisa is majoring in Health and Societies with a concentration in health policy and law, and minoring in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her research interests center on new reproductive technologies; the intersection of kinship, religion, and reproductive politics; and LGBTQ healthcare. At Penn, Alisa is the Editor-in-Chief of the Penn Healthcare Review, a Board Member of the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club, a Board Member of the University Assisted Physical Activity Student Leadership, and the Community Outreach Director of Penn Art Club for Lea Elementary School. During the school-year, Alisa also volunteers as a Legal Intake Intern at the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia. In addition to the Wolf Humanities Fellowship, she is also the recipient of the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism Undergraduate Fellowship, the Goldfein Award for undergraduate research in Jewish studies, the Gelfman International Summer Fund Research Grant, and the Seltzer Digital Media Award.


Be Fruitful and Medicalize: IVF Risk Communication and the Politics of Infertility in Israel

Using interview and participant-observation data, this study will investigate the political, social, and cultural factors shaping provider-patient risk communication about in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in Israel. Israel is a pronatalist (birth-promoting) country, where concerns over the continuance of the Jewish people in their post-Holocaust afterlife pervade public discourse, and state-funded IVF is accessible to all women until they have two children. The scholarly literature emphasizes that healthcare providers in Israel tend to mislead patients about the effectiveness and risks of IVF, and that women undergoing IVF are often unaware of risks associated with fertility treatments. However, explanations of this phenomenon thus far are merely speculative. My study will identify political, social, and cultural factors shaping provider-patient IVF risk communication in Israel.