Title

Is Paid Surrogacy a Form of Reproductive Prostitution? A Kantian Perspective

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2018

Abstract

This article reexamines the prostitution objection to paid surrogacy, and argues that rebuttals to this objection fail to focus on surrogates as embodied persons. This failure is based on the false distinction between selling one's reproductive services and selling one's body. To ground the analysis of humans as embodied persons, this article uses Kant's late ethical theory, which develops the conceptual framework for understanding human beings as embodied selves. Literature on surrogacy commonly emphasizes that all Kantian duties heed to the categorical prohibition to treat persons as mere means. What this literature leaves out is that this imperative commands us more specifically to engage ourselves and others as embodied persons. This article aims to relate this point to a specific issue in assisted reproduction. It argues that a Kantian account of human beings as embodied persons prohibits paid surrogacy on exactly the same grounds as it prohibits prostitution.

Publication Name

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

Volume Number

27

First Page

109

Last Page

122

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1017/S0963180117000445

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