Monday, February 23, 2009

Dor Yeshorim

Earlier today I was speaking with someone I know pretty well and she was telling me about her dor yeshorim results that she's compatible with the person she's been seeing.

According to her, the person on the phone said that they're compatible, and that neither one is a carrier.

Now, I'm curious if the person on the other end was new, or if Dor Yeshorim just lacks business sense and is full of crap.

From everything I heard about Dor Yeshorim it works like this:

1- You take a blood test and are given a number

2- You keep the number

3- You and a potential shidduch call in both numbers, to find out if you're compatible or not.

4- You act on the results (either break up, or go out)

Now, here's the thing, its supposed to be completely confidential. As in, you're given a number, so that NO ONE knows whether or not you're a carrier. You're just a number, and a match. No need to discover anything. Because if you discover if you're a carrier or not, it may upset you.

The person I was speaking with was told she's NOT a carrier, and that the guy wasn't either.

That lacks confidentiality. DY didn't know whether or not she was seriously seeing him, or waiting to see him for the first time only after the results were in. To give her a carrier status automatically limits the privacy control.

Aside from immoral, the concept of giving over carrier status is just bad business sense. Imagine if someone now knows they're not a carrier and they start seeing someone else. Comes time for them to discuss genetic disease testing, and one says "Oh, I know I'm not a carrier, don't bother testing yourself because it doesn't matter, we're compatible" If that were said, it would prevent that person from going out and getting tested on his own. Dor Yeshorim costs somewhere between $150-$200.

Aside from that, if both parties know they're not carriers, in the future there would be no need for their kids to be tested, which would take away future standing of the organization because they'll no longer be receiving as many costumers.

Seriously, frummies should not run things.

Aside from that, frum people should grow up, and go see their doctors, take blood tests whcih their insurances *will* most likely cover and discover on their own if they are carriers, and of which diseases. If they can't handle all that info and thats why they're such strong proponents of Dor Yeshorim, they're just not mature enough to get married.


EsPes said...

is she SUUURE the person told her theyre both not carriers???? cuz like u, i thought they only tell u if its a good match or not

frumskeptic said...

yup. I asked her a bunch of times. She defened the person and said "they musta just slipped"

Anonymous said...

An advantage to getting tested through DY may be that (when they don't goof), you don't know that you're a carrier - which means that your insurance carrier doesn't know either, which means you don't have to fear that your insurability will be affected.

frumskeptic said...

being a carrier doesn't make you sick. It wouldn't affect your carrier status.

frumskeptic said...

i mean insurance carrier

anisaerah said...

I always thought DY was such a scam. I have not been tested (and I should), but I don't understand why anyone would get tested and *not* want to know whether they were a carrier or not.

frum single female said...

dor yeshurin has been around for a very long time. i have a friend who did it. i think its really for those who dont want to be stigmatized for being a carrier. personally, if i ever was tested to see if i was a carrier i wouldnt go there. id rather know either way.and if i knew that i wasnt a carrier, there would be no need for the dor yeshurin drama

Anonymous said...

No...I think it's for those who just want to make sure that children with their significant other don't have a chance of having horrible diseases...
I know of people who have/had diseases that only came about more recently, and Dor Yeshorim is now testing for them, which decreases the likelihood of more children having these disease and CV"S dying young etc.

frum single female said...

anonymous, i meant that going through dor yeshurin one doesnt want to be stigmatized as a carrier, because they dont tell you if you are one. because if you know that you are a carrier then you know you shouldnt marry a carrier of these diseases. dor yeshurin is not the only place you can find this out.

frum single female said...

it is very important to know if one is a carrier or not so as not to have a tay sachs baby, im not belittling this issue at all. i just think that the concept of dor yeshurin is so those who are carriers wont be stigmatized, because otherwise there is no reason someone shouldnt know this.

frumskeptic said...

I don't understand why people wouldn't want to know either. SOOOO much easier. BUt i can explain it to you from a crazy frummy pov.

Frummies live in the dark ages. The rich marry the rich, the poor marry the poor. THe noble mate with fellow nobles, etc.

If it were "outed" whether someone were a carrier or not, those who are not carriers would end up a superior class (kinda like the one's with yichus), and would look down on the peasant class (the carriers) and refuse to date them -even though they would totally be compatible-

Therefore, within a few generations they'll end up with another few diseases because the non-carriers would just end up in-breeding with each other.

its kidna like kollel... twisted!



Moshe said...

You mean the untouchables class.

Neither of us got tested, too lazy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dor Yesharim is private so families won't get "stigmatized." When I found out that 2 of my younger cousins have CF (it was kind of a surprise, they have a mild version and didn't find out for many years), I was told not to tell anyone. And the person who told me that is modern herself.

It's kind of ridiculous since the kids with CF are my first cousin's children and the gene might not even be on my side (it could come from the side of my uncle, who is married to my father's sister). I got tested and supposedly I'm not a carrier, but isn't it better to know? Anyway, it's not a secret and my kids know their cousins have CF.

mlevin said...

Moshe - It was a very irresponsible thing for you to do to not get tested. So far you two have been lucky, but my advice to get tested anyway. If both of you are carriers for the same disease you have a 25% chance of having a sick child. In some cases these children die very young.

Go, get tested and before Mrs. Moshe is expecting again. The worst case scenario is that you will stop having more children. To make you feel better Mrs. Moshe is from Ukraine and your roots are from Belarus, chances are you are not carriers for the same diseases.

Moshe said...

meh, and my gene pool is even more varied than that. Only my dad's line is from Belarus, if not half.

coucou said...

Well, if she was told she was not a carrier, nor him, that means that they both do not need to aks any more, because even if they marry a carrier, it would just be one.

So perhaps their policy is not to tell who it is if there is one carrier, but never mind to tell if there is no carrier.

TSD said...

"herefore, within a few generations they'll end up with another few diseases because the non-carriers would just end up in-breeding with each other."

Well actually, statistically speaking, dor yesharim helps spread the defective gene. But on the other hand it prevents the actual disease. So as long as the defective gene does not spread to the majority of the population, it is not a problem...

Actually, I think the Tay-Sachs gene is quite rare, about 3% of the US ashkenasy population are carriers.

kisarita said...

most of these tests are not covered by insurance unless you are already preg. but there are other organizations that subsidize the testing, not only dor yeshorim.

Also dor yeshorim not releasing test results to the testee is illegal in the state of new york. every person is entitled to know their medical records.

frumskeptic said...


Most insurance covers it. Mine did (was never pregnant). I have a few acquintances who did it through their doctors (pre-pregnancies).

the point of DY is to not release the information...therefore, they shouldn't release it.

Anonymous said...

ok first of all it is not for people who dont wanna be stigmitized - geez! what is with the judging! in the shidduch world it is common to give the numbers before or in the beginning of the dating process. people get it JUST to have for dating. It is a VERY important test, you can get it from insurance but it is customary to exchange numbers.
when you get tested you agree that u wont be told if you are a carrier just if you are compatible.
the person the other side of the phone doesnt even know if you are a carrier. The computer just sais if you are compatible.
i called in my numbers and thats when they told me all this.

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Anonymous said...

In a recent public forum, Rabbi Reuven Feinstein said that the signature of his distinguished father (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein OB"M) on documents endorsing Dor Yeshorim is a forgery!

Both Rabbis Reuven Feinstein and Moshe Tendler (son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein) have said in several public forums that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein -- the leading Posek of recent times -- opposed Dor Yeshorim.

Anonymous said...

To kisarita: DY does not "withhold" the information, the participants agree to non-disclosure.

Regarding Moshe Feinstein's views, here is a quote from Aish website, which contains citations, see website for full info:"Is there a moral obligation to screen and if so, when?
While the Torah obligates us to guard our health,5 it does not necessarily follow that testing ourselves for recessive genetic traits (that do not directly affect our health) is included in the mitzvah. Nevertheless, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein favored Tay-Sachs testing and considered the possibility that testing might be a moral obligation.6 He states that while one may usually ignore a small risk that society finds acceptable (See: Taking a Risk),7 not being tested for Tay-Sachs is like closing one's eyes to an obvious danger. He also points out the severe emotional repercussions of not testing if a Tay-Sachs child is born.
Yet, Rabbi Feinstein feared that testing teenagers could hurt the self-image of those testing positive and lead to discrimination against them when seeking a spouse. He recognized that despite assurances from the medical community that carrying the Tay-Sachs trait presents no health issues for the individual or his offspring (so long as both spouses are not carriers), many people will shun marrying into a family with a genetic defect. Therefore, Rabbi Feinstein insisted on safeguards to protect confidentiality, advising testing of youngsters on an individual basis (and not mass screening), and only when he/she is prepared to start dating.
Dor Yeshorim
Rabbi Feinstein's approach is the approach of Dor Yeshorim, an organization that functions in the traditional Jewish community where formal introductions precede first dates. Dor Yeshorim carries the conclusions of Rabbi Feinstein to their logical conclusion."

Anonymous said...

I am definitely pro Dor Yesharim, and my kids were all tested. I believe I once asked if a child was a carrieir, and they would not tell us.

I agree that what Moshe and Mrs. Moshe did is irresponsible, and do not want to encourage anyone not to test. However -- I would just mention that testing for Tay Sachs was only begun after I already had 3 k"ah healthy children. I told my doctor I wanted to get tested, and he told me that if we were carriers it would have come out already, so there was no need. I do know that the testing nowadays is for many more diseases, so maybe that doesn't hold true anymore. Tay Sachs is a European Jewish disease, so it doesn't really matter if one's ancestors were from Ukraine, Belorus, Russia, Latvia, etc. They are all the same in this sense.

Anonymous said...

What are the other organizations that do genetic testing that have subsidies for it?

Anonymous said...

they are very discreet and no one gets any info. so it must have been a slip but its important to get tested as there are so many issues today.
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Anonymous said...

You are able to request your results directly from Dor Yeshorim, if you want to know if you are a carrier for anything.