Surrogacy: A Viable Sector of Human Welfare and Altruism
THEME: MEDICO – ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES
SUB THEME: The Medical Jurisprudence behind surrogacy in the light of its Ethical Implications
1. Shivangi Misra
Symbiosis Law School, Pune
2. Nikhil Mishra
Symbiosis Law School, Pune
The concept of surrogacy can be best reasoned by Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism. “My philosophy in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as a moral purpose of his life with productive achievement as his noblest activity and reason as his only absolute” Surrogacy and its reason lies within the need of the 15% couples who cannot reproduce and the women who can by the means of surrogacy can support themselves and also get a sense of accomplishment. In this paper the option of surrogacy is closely examined from its medico-ethical perspective and carefully brushing its legal and economic implications. We cannot take a stand and say it’s good or bad but anything unregulated and unchecked leads to the possibility of a failed idea. Surrogacy in simple terms, is hope for childless couples and hope for women from any social and economic background who wish to empower themselves by helping the same. Since when is that wrong? A situation where only thing to lose to, is a scope of exploitation and which industry is risk free in that? The Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill, 2010 is a step towards the regulation of surrogacy in India. It aims to redefine the trend of “fertility tourism” in India and to ensure that the services provided by the fertility clinics are apt. The Bill is a safeguard against the breach of social, medical and legal rights of the surrogate mother. Presently the aforementioned clinics offer a plethora of services such as Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), Artificial Insemination with Husband’s semen (AIH), Artificial Insemination using Donor Semen (AID), involving the use of donated or collected gametes, infertility treatment involving the use and creation of embryos outside the human body and processing or storage of embryos etc. The services offered if used inappropriately can be a blotch on the face of such a reasonable and effective medical procedure. Various medical complications in surrogacy will be discussed in the paper and how the role of regulatory bodies such as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the introduction of the ART (Regulation) Bill, 2010 would cover the health and comfort as an important basic requirement for surrogacy contracts will be discussed at length in the paper. Therefore, law can be instrumental in making surrogacy contracts transparent and effective. The paper shall discuss citizenship issues along with the rights and duties of both the surrogate and the intended parents. Taking human body for what it’s meant for and without any adverse health and psychological impacts is a positive option hiding behind the ghost of coercion and misuse. Under medical approval and with the free consent of surrogates with no space for unethical exploitation of surrogates, this paper suggests a better and more liberal form of surrogacy laws in India. Thus breaking the shackles of prejudices and a closed opinionated society where any form of unnatural option is looked down upon with scepticism. In this ever changing degree of acceptance where we are open to ideas, we cannot ignore the economic implications of, as people may call it ‘trade’, we accept it as a viable sector of human welfare and altruism.
Surrogacy is fighting an ethical battle on numerous fronts. Religion opposes it. Most of the countries oppose it. The morality and conscience of the masses oppose it. Yet it persists because surrogacy can be opposed or accepted but cannot be ignored...
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