Volume 14, 1998
Other Applied Ethics
Surrogacy: Exploitation or Violation of Intimacy?
In this paper, I argue that if the debate about the morality of surrogacy is couched in terms of respect due to other human beings and the paramount importance of their intimate relationships with one another, then it may be shown that most ordinary instances of surrogacy are morally wrong. Human flourishing cannot be separated from one’s relationships with others and any circumstance which is destructive of such relationships must be considered immoral. The surrogate, unless she is treated as an object or merely as a means to an end, is intimately involved in the relationships between the child and its putative parents and important relationships become ambiguous and so harmed. Furthermore, if this view if rejected, then the feminist argument that surrogacy always involves the exploitation of the surrogate renders it immoral.