What Can Star Trek Teach Us About Ethics and Reproduction?

pregnancy-test-1336784-mReproductive sciences are becoming more and more advanced and can seem like something out of science fiction these days. In addition to pregnancy termination and surrogate mothers, designer babies are already becoming a real world practice according to a report from the Atlantic. So how do we explore the ethical ramifications of these and other reproductive advances? According to authors Charles Savona-Ventura and Victor Grech in their article from World Future Review the answer lies in Star Trek.

The abstract:
Science fiction narratives are regularly used to explore the consequences of contemporary and envisaged future scientific innovations along with the ensuing novel ethical and moral concepts. The television series Star Trek has dealt with aspects of reproductive health, often based on extrapolations from significantWFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint real-world breakthroughs in artificial reproductive technology and genetic engineering. This article assesses episodes that addressed such vexing ethical questions as choices affecting pregnancy after rape, advances in obstetrics including surrogate motherhood, and novel delivery techniques designed to protect the health of the mother and baby. However, the most significant ethical challenges may be those involving choices of deliberate genetic enhancements and/or frank physical alterations in non-life-threatening situations. The authors argue that responsible use of the popular science fiction genre, as exemplified by the various Star Trek series, cannot only provide advanced warning of problems and issues that science may eventually unleash but also suggest potential solutions to such problems.

Click here to read “Future Ethical Issues Involving Reproduction – With Examples From Star Trek” from World Future Review. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and get notified on all the latest from World Future Review!

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