A new open online class on bioethics through EdX goes live this September. Taught by Harvard, it looks to target law and medical students. The topics though are relevant to our genetic genealogy community. From the EdX site:

The content within this course is intended to be instructive, and show how legal reasoning has been applied, or could be applied, to questions related to parenthood, reproduction, and other issues surrounding human genetic material. The material organized within this course should be considered an authoritative overview, but is not intended to serve as medical or legal advice.

This course is designed for a diverse audience including, but not limited to, law students, prospective law students, medical professionals, as well as members of the general public interested in questions and topics related to surrogacy, parenthood, genetic and reproductive technology, ownership of genetic material, and more. You do not need any background in law, medicine, philosophy, or really any subject to enjoy this course. This course is meant to be an introduction for anyone interested in these topics.

What you’ll learn:

  • How the reproductive technology industry works, and issues raised related to buying and selling human reproductive materials
  • The law and ethics of surrogacy
  • Civil lawsuits when things go wrong with reproductive technology: wrongful birth and wrongful life lawsuits
  • The law and ethics of sperm donation and the legal status of sperm donors
  • Ethical and legal issues raised by human enhancement
  • The law and ethics of mixing human and animal genetic material
  • The ownership of human tissue and its underlying genetic information

Class Link: https://www.edx.org/course/bioethics-law-medicine-ethics-harvardx-hls4x