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Current Topics and Problem Areas in Reproductive Ethics

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Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2019-2020

Course director

Tibor SZOLCSÁNYI (, assistant professor

Department of Behavioural Sciences

Subject data

Code of subject: OAF-ARE-T  |  1 credit  |  General Medicine |  Optional module  |  both semesters

Prerequisites: -

Number of hours/semester

0 lectures + 0 practices + 12 seminars = total of 12 hours

Course headcount limitations

min. 3 – max. 25 person


The seminar provides an introduction into current topics and problem areas of reproductive ethics. In order to avoid the dead-end of the pro-life vs. pro-choice controversy, the course is designed to address ethical questions of reproductive ethics in a multidisciplinary manner with a special focus on parental responsibility. Students will be provided to chance to analyze challenges faced by parents, medical professionals and policy makers with regard to reproductive choices, note how medical developments and social changes interact. The issue-centered seminar should give students the chance to approach bioethical questions in a critical manner through an analysis of complex medical cases.




  • 1. An anthropology of genealogy
  • 2. The moral status of the embryo in religious, philosophical and legal traditions
  • 3. Reproductive ethics in context: a short history of reproductive medicine
  • 4. Reproductive ethics in context: social theories of parenthood
  • 5. The existential context of prenatal diagnosis and screening
  • 6. Ethical questions of assisted human reproduction
  • 7. Social egg freezing
  • 8. Anonymous gamete donation
  • 9. Surrogacy
  • 10. Global reproductive tourism
  • 11. Human cloning
  • 12. Genetic enhancements

Reading material

Obligatory literature

DeGrazia, David: Creation Ethics. Reproduction, Genetics, and Quality of Life, Oxford University Press, 2012.
Fenwick, Lyn: Private Choices, Public Consequences. Reproductive Technology and the New Ethics of Conception, Pregnancy, and Family, Dutton Adult, 1998.
Fisher, Anthony: Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Mundy, Liza. Everything Conceivable: How the Science of Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Our World. New York: Anchor, 2008.
Nahman, Michal Rachel: Extractions: An Ethnography of Reproductive Tourism, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Overall, Christine: Why Have Children?: The Ethical Debate, MIT Press, 2012.
Ryan, Maura A.: Ethics and Economics of Assisted Reproduction. The Cost of Longing, Georgetown University Press, 2001.

Literature developed by the Department




Recommended literature


Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Maximum of 15 % absence allowed

Mid-term exams

Students are expected to 1) participate in classes in an active and constructive manner; 2) complete a short research on a topic of interest; 3) present the findings of the research in class and 4) in written form. Students will be evaluated on the basis of the fulfillment of the mentioned requirements (40% participation; 30% presentation; 30% written research report).

Making up for missed classes


Exam topics/questions



Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars

  • Dr. Kovács Gusztáv
  • Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor