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Making Babies in the 21st Century

University College London via FutureLearn

students interested
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Subject Health & Medicine
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 2 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 6 weeks long

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Overview

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This course looks at six different areas of assisted reproduction and explores both the science and the impact they are having. The course is structured as a journey, taking as its starting point a person or couple who might make use of technology in order to conceive. The course also looks at the powerful new genetic techniques that are creating new opportunities in the field of reproduction.

Understand the choices that surround assisted reproduction

A person or a couple might go through assisted fertility using their own sperm and eggs, and in that case the journey would be quite straightforward. This course covers those cases where the choices might be more difficult, and where more thought is required. These choices include whether:

  • to access fertility online
  • to freeze eggs to preserve fertility
  • to choose a known or an anonymous donor
  • to use a surrogate (and, if so, in an ethical way)
  • to test the embryo or baby for genetic abnormalities
  • whether to allow future development in human genome editing

All of these issues pose urgent ethical challenges. But who decides what’s right or wrong? Who is potentially harmed? And how is this changing our society?

Explore the challenges posed by reproductive technology

Making Babies in the 21st Century will look at human reproduction in an age where reproductive technology is becoming more common, exploring the social, ethical and legal challenges that currently confront us. The course will enable you to:

  • explore how technology is changing the way babies are made and how family life is constructed;
  • appreciate the key ethical dilemmas that these new technologies bring;
  • and gain awareness of the social aspects of the relevant ethical challenges

Learn with UCL’s Institute for Women’s Health

The course has been created by Dr Dan Reisel, a research associate and clinical research fellow in Women’s Health at UCL. The content of the course grows out of the ethics teaching at the Institute for Women’s Health, and brings together clinicians, scientists, patient advocates and students interested in the ethical and social implications of the new reproductive and genomic technologies.

Making Babies in the 21st Century is intended for anyone interested to learn more about reproductive technology, including medical and healthcare students; clinicians and nurses working in women’s health; scientists and biotechnologists involved in reproductive medicine, and couples and individuals seeking advice and information about fertility.

Healthcare professionals might find the the Certificate of Achievement for this course useful for providing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or commitment to their career.

Taught by

Dan Reisel

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Review for FutureLearn's Making Babies in the 21st Century
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Margaret D
4.0 2 years ago
by Margaret completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course looks at options beyond standard IVF for treating fertility issues and would be a good starting point for anybody interested in topics like using donor sperm and eggs, surrogacy, genetic screening, prenatal testing and even editing the human genome. All this and more is comprehensively covered and there is good support from the educators and mentors.

The emphasis is on the social and ethical implications of making babies other than in the traditional way and there is little of the science or medical techniques. Issues like the merits of telling children how they were c…
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