Surrogacy: beyond the commercial/altruistic distinction

Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (3) (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this article, I critique the commonly accepted distinction between commercial and altruistic surrogacy arrangements. The moral legitimacy of surrogacy, I claim, does not hinge on whether it is paid (‘commercial’) or unpaid (‘altruistic’); rather, it is best determined by appraisal of virtue-abiding conditions constitutive of the surrogacy arrangement. I begin my article by problematising the prevailing commercial/altruistic distinction; next, I demonstrate that an assessment of the virtue-abiding or non-virtue-abiding features of a surrogacy is crucial to navigating questions about the moral legitimacy of surrogacy; in the final part, I reject other moral heuristics that might be proposed as alternatives to the commercial/altruistic dichotomy, and reiterate that a virtue-ethical framework is the most suitable way forward.

Similar books and articles

Rethinking “Commercial” Surrogacy in Australia.Jenni Millbank - 2015 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (3):477-490.
Merit and Money: The situated ethics of transnational commercial surrogacy in Thailand.Andrea Whittaker - 2014 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 7 (2):100-120.
SURROGACY:: For Love But Not for Money?Sharyn Roach Anleu - 1992 - Gender and Society 6 (1):30-48.
Editorial: Surrogacy around the world.Shamima Lasker - 2017 - Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics 8 (3).
Toward A Feminist Christian Vision of Gestational Surrogacy.Grace Y. Kao - 2019 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 39 (1):161-179.
Fiduciary Duties and Commercial Surrogacy.Emma A. Ryman - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
The Surrogacy Debate Again: What About Altruistic Surrogacy.M. Stainsby - 1993 - St. Vincent's Bioethics Centre Newsletter 11 (2):5-6.


Added to PP

470 (#41,285)

6 months
49 (#89,572)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ji-Young Lee
University of Copenhagen

References found in this work

A virtue ethics approach to moral dilemmas in medicine.P. Gardiner - 2003 - Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (5):297-302.
Ethical issues in gestational surrogacy.Rosalie Ber - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (2):153-169.

View all 26 references / Add more references