One of the dominant themes of the symposium from which this collection of articles arose was the ontological status of consent. Is consent a particular state of mind? Is it the signification of that state of mind via a conventionally recognized act? Or, is consent a normative concept that evaluates not only the presence of a state of mind or act, but also the appropriateness of that state of mind or act in the particular circumstances?
Medical screening is justified on the strength of the assumption that the earlier disease is detected, the better it is for the patient. On examination, however, the assumption turns out to be severely flawed, and inadequate anyway, since it is not only the patient with whom we should be concerned, but healthy people as well. Instead of making assumptions about the ill, we should prove a test's overall benefit to the individual taking it before we recommend it.
I defend the permissibility of paid surrogacy arrangements against the arguments Sara Ketchum advances in " Selling Babies and Selling Bodies." I argue that the arrangements cannot be prohibited out of hand on the grounds that they treat persons as objects of sale, because it is possible to view the payments made in these arrangements as compensation for the woman ' s services. I also argue that the arguments based on exploitation and parental custodial rights fail to provide adequate grounds (...) for prohibiting the arrangements. (shrink)