Primetime Bioethics: Reproductive Ethics Edition


CBHD often receives requests from educators and other individuals for popular resources that engage bioethics through various media (fiction, film, and television). In this resource, we offer a recap of materials relevant to reproductive ethics that have premiered on television. Viewers are cautioned that the shows represent a wide variety of genres and may not be appropriate for all audiences. They are encouraged to read annotations/synopses available through such websites as or If there is a show you think we missed, email us at


Reproductive Ethics

  • Ascension (2014, TV-MA)
    • A young woman's murder causes the subjects of a century-long mission to populate a new world to question the true nature of the project as they approach the point of no return (IMDB description)
    • (Topics: Consent, Eugenics, Population Control, Research Ethics)
  • Blacklist (2013–present, TV-14)
    • A new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen, has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Cryogenics, Disaster Ethics, Organ Trafficking, Radical Life Extension, Surrogacy)
  • The New Normal (2012–2013, TV-14)
    • This new series follows the life of a surrogate carrying a child for a gay couple.
    • (Topics: Reproductive Ethics, Surrogacy)
  • Orphan Black (2013–2017, TV-MA)
    • A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Biotechnology, Designer Babies, Gene Patents, Genetic Engineering, Human Cloning, Human Enhancement, Regenerative Medicine, Research Ethics, Stem Cell Research, Transhumanism/Posthumanism)



Updated Summer 2019