Free for educational use
Video clip synopsis – An egg is collected from a woman's ovary and placed in a test tube to be fertilised by her husband's sperm. Once the embryo is growing normally it is placed back in the uterus.
Year of production - 1982
Duration - 1min 11sec
Tags - ethics, fertility , see all tags
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About the Video Cliptop
Test Tube Babies is an excerpt from the film Medical and Scientific (12 mins), an episode of the series Australia in the 80s (6 × 12 mins), produced in 1982.
Medical and Scientific: A look at Australia’s contribution to science and medical technology and research in the 1980s including innovations in radio astronomy, solar energy and tools and techniques for medical diagnosis, microsurgery and IVF.
Australia in the 80s: This series gives a kaleidoscopic impression of the vivid variety and vigor of a nation still developing. As absorbing as the screen image, is the fact-filled commentary. Together they produce a lively film to tell the world about Australia in the 80s.
Australia in the 80s was produced by Motion Pictures Associates for Film Australia.
This Digital Resource can be used to achieve the following outcomes:
5.1 responds to and composes increasingly sophisticated and sustained texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis and pleasure
5.2 uses and critically assesses a range of processes for responding and composing
5.6 experiments with different ways of imaginatively and interpretively transforming experience, information and ideas into texts
5.7 thinks critically and interpretively using information, ideas and increasingly complex arguments to respond to and compose texts in a range of contexts
5.9 demonstrates understanding of the ways texts reflect personal and public worlds
5.10 questions, challenges and evaluates cultural assumptions in texts and their effects on meaning
In the 1970s scientific research was being carried out into artificial methods of helping women to conceive who would not otherwise be able to do so.
One aspect involved 'in vitro’ fertilisation — literally, 'in glass’, referring to the test tubes and dishes involved in the process.
An ovum from a female was fertilised by injection of male sperm outside the womb, then placed in the woman’s womb, where it was hoped the embryo would develop naturally to birth.
Some people questioned the ethics of artificially manipulating human procreation in this way.
Australia’s first 'test tube baby’ was born in 1980.
This clip, which was filmed in 1982, shows one of the early IVF pioneers, Carl Wood. At this time, the success rate of IVF was fairly low, with only 20% of IVF procedures resulting in a successful birth.
- Discuss and write answers to the following questions.
- If you knew nothing about the invitrofertilisation (IVF) process, and had no moral or ethical ideas about it, what messages would you receive from this video clip?
- Is the video clip a neutral presentation, or is it one that deliberately tries to present positive images? Give reasons for your answer.
- How is this video clip representative of the time it was filmed (1982)?
- Currently in Victoria the issue of whether IVF procedure should be made available to single women and lesbian women is constantly debated.
- Discuss in small groups and list points for and against this issue.
- Define the terms, ‘ethical’, ‘medical’, “political’ and ‘economic’ and comment how they each describe aspects of the IVF issue.
- Stage a formal class debate on the issue.
- Write a 350-word letter to the editor or a 500-word media article presenting your point of view on the issue.
- Create and present an 800-word written text using the theme, ‘Science is too important to be left to the scientists’. Your text may be a blog, letter, article, essay, short story, script, speech, personal reflection etc.
Literacy Activity: Focus= Viewing / Analysing
- What is the technical term for the colloquial expression ‘Test Tube Babies’? (1 mark)
- Who would undergo this procedure? (1 mark)
- How do the images presented show us:
- what the procedure involves (2 marks)
- the success rate is increasing (1 mark)