PHIL 212
Ethics and Reproductive Technologies Spring 2019 Division II; Writing-Intensive; Cross-listed as PHIL212 / SCST212 / WGSS212

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In her groundbreaking book, The Tentative Pregnancy, Barbara Katz Rothman writes that “[t]he technological revolution in reproduction is forcing us to confront the very meaning of motherhood, to examine the nature and origins of the mother-child bond, and to replace–or to let us think we can replace–chance with choice.” Taking this as our starting point, in this course we will examine a number of conceptual and ethical issues in the use and development of technologies related to human reproduction, drawing out their implications for such core concepts as “motherhood” and “parenthood,” family and genetic relatedness, exploitation and commodification, and reproductive rights and society’s interests in reproductive activities. Topics will range from consideration of “mundane” technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), prenatal genetic screening and testing, and surrogacy, to the more extraordinary, possibly including pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), post-menopausal reproduction, and post-mortem gamete procurement. Background readings include sources rooted in traditional modes of bioethical analysis as well as those incorporating feminist approaches.
The Class: Type: discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3121
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation in class discussions, three or four short reflection papers, and two longer papers (5-7 and 7-10 pages)
Prerequisites: none, but introductory-level course in PHIL and/or WGSS recommended
Enrollment Preference: WGSS and PHIL majors or prospective majors
Department Notes: meets Contemporary Value Theory requirement only if registration is under PHIL
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: PHIL Contemporary Value Theory Courses; PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health;

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