Surrogacy: beyond the commercial/altruistic distinction

Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (3) (2023)
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Abstract

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.

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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.

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