Ethical issues in human reproduction

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Why does reproduction raises so many ethical issues? When does life begin?

Lesson idea. People have passionately debated this deceptively simple question through history. For some people, the answer is easy though this web tutorial aims to inform and encourage debate. A student's activity outline offers a table to record their personal views at the start and end of the session. A web tutorial offers information and three IVF case studies to discuss in small groups. Note that students may also check two other ORBIT resources Cloning and Designer Babies which you may choose to discuss separately, if at all possible.

Teaching approach. This lesson outline stimulates A-level students to engage in discussion(ta), develop their reasoning(ta) skills and increase their awareness of the bioethical(topic) issues involved in human reproduction.

Background texts and open-ended questioning(ta) about human reproduction, contraception and IVF are provided as the stimulus. Small group discussion about these topics, writing on post-it notes, and reading case studies aim to get students reasoning(ta) to justify their opinions, and to compare and evaluate competing views. Finally, whole class(ta) discussion synthesises the emerging ideas and encourages students to consider changing their positions or adding additional issues to a recording table. (edit)

Resource details
Title Ethical issues in human reproduction
Topic [[Topics/Ethics|Ethics]],  [[Topics/Human reproduction|Human reproduction]]
Teaching approach

[[Teaching Approaches/Questioning|Questioning]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Whole class|Whole class]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Reasoning|Reasoning]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Discussion|Discussion]]

Learning Objectives
  • Being able to articulate and justify their opinions.
  • Listening to the views of others and consider them against their own.
  • Developing an increased understanding of bioethical issues in human reproduction.
Format / structure

A single page Word document



Age of students / grade

[[Resources/KS5|KS5]],  [[Resources/Secondary|Secondary]]

Related ORBIT Wiki Resources
Files and resources to view and download

Preview of student start page