Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Back-up Plan & Gattaca: Assisted Insemination

Completely different approaches for the topic Assisted Insemination. Both generated a lot of discussion.

Sometimes known as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Assisted Insemination may be recommended an initial treatment choice for unexplained fertility. The treatment involves placing prepared (or ‘washed’) sperm into the uterus just prior to the time of ovulation. This is a simple procedure, similar to a pap smear. The process may be supported by fertility medications that increase the chance of pregnancy. (Next Generation Fertility)

A. Work in pairs to discuss these questions:

1. Do you think that it is fair that women who can not get pregnant make use of assisted insemination to have babies? Why (not)?

2. What about women who are healthy, but want a certain donor's semen to have a baby?

3. Is it okay to choose for artificial insemination in order to have children with selected genes and, consequently, healthier babies? Explain it.

4. Do you think that in the future humans will have babies with assisted insemination rather than the traditional way in which couples make love to have children? What are the consequences of such a behavior?

B. Work in groups. Read the statements below and decide whether the group agrees or disagrees with them. Make sure you prepare a brief speech explaining the group's beliefs.

1. Assisted Insemination is tampering with nature, and God’s plan for the world. The process of insemination to be purely sexual, and natural between two people without any outside influence whatsoever.

2. If a man is infertile, and a couple cannot have children, this was God’s or nature’s plan for them, and they should remain childless for some mystic, destiny-related purpose.

3. Assisted insemination is a gift from science to help an infertile couple, lesbian partners, or a single woman experience parenthood whereas they would not be able to.

4. Men who have been donors or plan to be believe that in some way, because they are donating semen, that they are responsible for the child produced.

5. The child who is born after their parents make use of this technique should know how he/she was conceived and who the donor is.

III. Watch the movie Segment from the movie Back-up Plan and discuss the questions that follow:


1. Describe the scene.

2. Describe the main character's feelings and the process she is being submitted to.

3. Do you think she has taken the right decision?

4. What could go wrong?

5. What are the advantages of doing it, in her case?

6. Do you think this is a fair case for this kind of fertilization?

7. The main character is healthy, young and beautiful. Should this kind of people be eligible for assisted insemination? Why (not)?

IV. Now watch the segment of the movie Gattaca, a fabulous film. Then answer the questions.


1. Describe the scene.

2. According to the movie, technology has developed so much that you can prevent parents from having unhealthy babies with assisted insemination. What are the consequences of such advancement in technology?

3. If you lived in this period of the future, would you risk having an unhealthy baby by not making use of the available technology, or would you play safe and use technology to help you? Explain it.

4. Will life be the way it is shown in the segment? Why (not)?

5. What are the similarities and differences between the two situations pictured in both segments. Explain them to your partners.

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