The Ethics of Reproductive Technologies

Instructor: Elizabeth Reis
Tuesdays, 5:30 PM – 7:50 PM
Macaulay Honors College, classroom 3N

Should people be able to sell reproductive materials like sperm and eggs? Should female students who go to Harvard get paid $100,000 or more for their eggs while those who go to CUNY receive $8000? Should prenatal sex selection be encouraged? Should there be laws regarding pre-implantation genetic diagnosis? If some parents are able to avoid having a baby with certain disabilities or diseases, should others be allowed to select for certain disabilities? Is it wrong to have a child if there are known genetic risk factors? Is surrogate motherhood exploitative or empowering for women? How might the growth of surrogacy in developing nations change our understanding of reproductive technology?

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the medical, legal, ethical, and gendered implications of assisted reproductive technologies. Topics will include egg and sperm donation, traditional and gestational surrogacy, transgender pregnancy, “designer” babies, the ethics of sex selection, disability and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, control and disposition of cryopreserved embryos, post-menopausal pregnancy, the ethics of reproductive globalization, and the use of reproductive technology in same-sex unions and non-traditional families.

Book Name Author ISBN
Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm Rene Almeling 0520270967
Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights (PTDR) Erik Parens and Adrienne Ash, eds. 0878408045
Confessions of a Serial Egg Donor Julia Derek 0974907901
Go Ask Your Father: One Man’s Obsession with Finding His Origins Through DNA Testing Lennard Davis 0553805517
This Lovely Life Vicki Forman 0547232756

Course Codes:

MHC 336