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Planning, controlling and optimizing reproduction in the horizon of the good life

For many, having children and starting a family is an essential aspect of the good life. While, for centuries, the temporal limitation of reproduction in middle age was taken for granted, at least for women, this phase of life seems to become an object of planning, control and optimization by the help of modern medical innovations and especially those by reproductive medicine. The proverbial "biological clock", so the promise goes, could be stopped, reproduction could be made more dynamic in time. Reproductive medicine offers a wide range of techniques such as in-vitro fertilization, especially reproduction by means of sperm and egg donation, the cryopreservation of gametes, pre-conceptual, pre-implantation and prenatal diagnostics, and last but not least abortion and contraception. These techniques make it possible to intervene in the timing of human reproduction, rendering reproduction more predictable and controllable, and thus accessible to temporal optimisation. Underlying are implicit or explicit normative concepts of the good life and appropriate temporality, which, so far, have received comparatively little reflection in medical ethical debates. Based on the methodology of empirically informed ethics and in close exchange with the other subprojects, especially SP 3 (Psychocardiology) and SP 4 (Sociology/Social Psychology), the research project will examine the sometimes dramatic temporal distortions and shifts in the life course on one hand and the planning and optimization efforts on the other hand, with their respective effects on common notions of the good life, and evaluate them from an ethical perspective.


Senior Researcher:Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesemann
Research Assistant:Dr. Isabella Marcinski-Michel
Associated Member:Dr. Katharina Beier
 Ines Pietschmann M. mel.
Student Assistant: