University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Human Reproduction

Issues at the beginning of life :
why reproduction raises so many ethical issues

Picture showing babies from accross the worldReproduction is necessary to continue the human species. But this statement does not really answer the question: "why do people want to have children?" because of course, not everybody does want them. Some have them by "accident", whilst others decide consciously to avoid having a family. But for most people, having children is a natural and central part of their lives.

With the new assisted reproductive techniques, it is now entirely possible to have a baby without having sexual intercourse. For some people separating sex from procreation is against their religious beliefs. Some people believe that it is everyone’s right to have a baby. Others believe that it is purely a woman’s right to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. Many people believe that it is all right to have sex with as many others as they fancy. These are some of the many ethical issues arising from matters of human reproduction.

Where do you stand?

Before you have a detailed think about some of these issues, open the document below and put yourself in a position on the opinion scale.

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Three important areas in which ethical and legal control is exercised over human reproduction are:


 When does life begin?

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