Research the end-of-life experience in palliative care (people places in care and made comfortable until their inevitable death). Documentary link – End Game
Study the effects of a person going into sensory deprivation for three days – no access to devices, time tracking, etc, that Psychologists believe leads to brain damage as a result. Documentary linked – Isolation
Some Gathered Resources for Initial Source Studies (Step 1)
You can filter your search in YouTube to look for longer videos on your topic of interest, which may bring up TV Episodes, Podcast recordings of interviews with knowledgable speakers, or Documentaries)
Additional Research (Step 2):
You Can do a Google Search for Scholarly Journals on your topic; these usually show up at the top of a Google Search. Examples below for: Gender Conditioning in Children
Notice in the second image you can sort the articles by most recent or most relevant. You’ll also see highlighted in yellow some articles have been Cited more often by other publications. These are articles from Psychology or similarily-focused studied, so they’ll include many statistics, anecdotal examples, and supports for your Part 2 of your research. (You can click on these images to make them larger/more clear to read).
Step 3: Published Product Options (do this as your ELA B30 Multimedia Video Assignment?)
To support your reviewing and allow you to test your comprehension and ability to accurately apply your learning, the following includes higher-level comprehension questions as review (they’re not low-level Blooms questions that simply label or identify terms) and a Socrative quiz that’s only for your own testing/gauging how much you need to study or review further.
the ethics of keeping or removing genetically inherited characteristics in embryos before implantation
the ethics of creating children via IVF that have the same genetically inherited disorder as another of their children, so that the second sibling will be a genetic match and can donate tissue/blood to the sibling
the ethical problems made when you understand the low rate of success in using IVF treatments; many fertilized embryos created (is this the start of “life”) and used but that do not implant.
Or the ethical issue with the extra fertilized embryos that remain frozen – maybe donated or given to medical science for stem cell use
the ethical issue of stem cell use for medical purposes and studies; example Regeneron, the Covid19 treatment medication, uses stem cells from abandoned fertilized embryos which kills the potential of that embryo
the ethical issue of eugenics – the process of manipulating who can reproduce, removing less desirable traits from society through different means, including forced sterilization of groups of people OR removing genetically inherited characteristics from being selected for implantation such as dwarfism or Down Syndrome. The Nazis carried out eugenics experiments with humans in their effort to create a “Master Race” – are designer babies as sinister?
the ethical issue of when Life begins. If some believe it begins with fertilization, the potential for human life, then anything done with an embryo is as morally wrong as abortion.
Here is a list of pros and cons related to the issues from the documentary developed by a previous group of Psych 30 students. Compare your own list to these points, if it helps you develop more of your thoughts on the topic.
Positives of Designer Babies:
selecting a particular sex
preventing sex-linked diseases (hemophilia is more prevalent in males)
preventing genetic diseases or disorders (Down Syndrome)
choosing their capabilities (potential to choose an embryo with strong intelligence or athleticism)
choosing skin colour (for an interracial couple)
undesirable traits can be avoided
some harmful personality traits or looks (anxiety, depression, cleft palate)
avoiding disabilities like Dwarfism
more satisfied parents, after paying high fees for the treatments
balance out the gender of society (more males miscarried than females; more females selectively aborted by some cultural groups)
Nearly twice as many boy babies are conceived as girls, but they are much more likely to miscarry, and by birth, the ratio is roughly 105 boys to 100 girls. WSJ Article
PGD: pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
Negatives of Designer Babies:
unethical practice – the outcome and uniqueness of a baby should remain natural (God-planned)
no going back – may not be satisfied with your results. Treating fetuses/babies as a product of differing values.
costs so much – that type of financial ability is not available for all people or societies (for the rich only, leaving out whole countries)
could result, eventually, in two classes of people globally
products bought like accessories to a desired lifestyle
some parents want “natural” offspring: including disabilities that may arise like blindness or imperfections
the male to female ratio could be radically changed by this selective practice resulting in 5 years, 12 years, 21 years later big societal differences. What happens to the balance of a society: not enough females to date or marry to create families?
naturally designed people versus genetically designed people
long term results are unknown
biodiversity affected – the race balance may be disrupted
Science is used to support and benefit people in all areas of their lives, from understanding metabolism or sugar intake to supporting fertility of families. But science is limited, at times, in that there can be negative effects of research advancements once time passes, such as the realization of the physical deformaties caused by the morning sickness drug thalidomide. It caused babies to be born missing fingers or caused abnormal facial features. It was an unknown outcome, as are other outcomes that come from research, with time.
Use of Stem Cells in Medicine: You watched the documentary Designer Babies to understand the control scientists now have related to the field of fertility. There are ethical questions to consider related to this, though, along with other topics of consideration. One example if the use of stem cells for research in medicine. Recently, President Donald Trump, a Republican who is anti-abortion, was given a medication for his Covid-19 treatment that relies on using stems cells from human fertilized embryos. An embryo is created (the potential existence of life) but destroyed by removing the cells from it. Is there an ethics discussion to be had surrounding this? Do you think it’s ethical to create fertilized embryos if they can be used as a resource to support human medical needs and not for the development to become a baby? Who decides this? Politicians and voters?
Eradicating Gene Mutations: Or what about the types of mutations in genes that could possibly be removed from global societies: blindness, dwarfism, autism, etc? Are some undesirable and societies may decide to spend money to prevent them, which saves money in health care costs down the road, or is that an indignity to the content lives lived by people with these conditions? Consider Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder. Thirty years ago, when there was less superior technology in testing prior to birth, there were more children/adults with Down Syndrome in Canadian society and they integrated well into our schools and work places. Today in Canada, the rate of birth for Down Syndrome is down significantly, directly linked with the ability to diagnose early in a pregnancy and an assumption of termination on the part of some medical providers. In other countries, like Iceland, Denmark, and France, nearly all Down Syndrome fetuses are aborted. Consider – why the difference in social attitude and habits between the countries without and with babies with this disorder?Other topics worth considering/researching:
Changes to the average age of women having their first child – today, many more women wait until after their careers are started to have families
Health care provided by provinces supports/pays for fertility treatment for women within their province – should there be a cut-off age since procedures after a certain age are less successful?
You can also look into the falling male fertility rates globally. Every year, the World Health Organization has to drop the average testosterone rate, because it continues to decline.
Some countries and even provinces in Canada restrict a pregnant mother’s ability to know their baby’s gender prior to birth, in an effort to curb/inhibit selective abortion for female babies. For example, it has been discussed to create a National policy to not reveal a baby gender to an expectant mother prior to 30 weeks gestation, which is past a point of an “unquestioned abortion”. Ethical pros and cons of this?
Female Infanticide studied globally. You could research to learn which countries have the higher rates of female babies aborted, such as China after its “One Child” policy, where families want their one child to be male instead of female. What have been the repercussions and what is the reasoning for it in that country?