Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics

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Lesson 1: Buying and Selling Reproductive Materials
Identify the major technologies, terms, and concepts relevant to understanding the buying and selling of reproductive materials. Identify key moral objections and potential legal solutions commonly applied to buying and selling eggs, sperm, and embryos. Discuss the moral objections and legal solutions to buying and selling reproductive goods as compared to other taboo trades (selling organs, prostitution, etc.).

Lesson 2: Surrogacy
Identify the major terms and concepts relevant to understanding surrogacy. Evaluate the degree to which surrogacy contracts should be legally enforceable. Discuss the legal reasoning behind real and hypothetical surrogacy cases.

Lesson 3: Wrongful Life and Wrongful Birth
Identify major terms and concepts including torts, damages, remedies, and liabilities. Identify the difference between claims to wrongful birth and wrongful life. Discuss issues with employing the conception of “harm” or “best interests” to reproduction.

Lesson 4: Sperm and Egg Donation
Discuss when can a sperm donor be held to be the legal father of, or assert such fatherhood over, children produced from his genetic material. Discuss whether or not anonymous sperm donation should be allowed at all. Identify and discuss key similarities and differences among related cases involving sperm donation.

Lesson 5: Sperm Donor Anonymity
Identify and discuss key ethical debates related to anonymous sperm donation. Discuss the way various countries around the world do or do not permit anonymous sperm donation. Discuss the rights of donor-conceived children. Discuss obligations of anonymous sperm donors to support the resulting child.

Lesson 6: Enhancement
Identify and evaluate different types of pre-birth and post-birth human enhancements. Discuss legal options available to regulate limit, or expand enhancements. Evaluate the difference between enhancing oneself versus choosing enhancements for another, such as a child.

Lesson 7: Human-Animal Hybrids and Patent of Human Genetic Material
Identify and discuss seven different examples of human-animal hybrids and the moral and ethical ideas that suggest regulating, limiting, or expanding hybrids. Identify key terms relevant to theories of property and default rules. Discuss key issues related to the ownership and use of human tissue and its underlying genetic information.