New Reproductive Technologies and Reproductive “Tourism”

A)    Is there a human right to have biologically related offspring? To what extent should infertility be seen as a medical problem? That is, when is “reproductive deficiency” a valid medical problem for government funded medical treatment and when is treatment for infertility more in the realm of self-enhancement (comparable to cosmetic surgery for a desirable appearance, social acceptance)?  450 words.

B)    Consider the case of an upper middle-class heterosexual couple from BC, Canada, who in their late 30’s want children but the woman is unable to get pregnant.  Her doctor told her this is because of her older age of 38. Women encounter more fertility problems after age 35 when the quality of their eggs begins to decline. The couple want to go to India to purchase the use of a surrogate and her eggs. The Canadian Assisted Human Reproduction Act, 2004 prohibits purchases of assisted reproduction. Parliament has determined these purchases to be ethically unacceptable or incompatible with Canadian values, or to pose significant risks to the health, safety and values of Canadians. Would the couple be doing something morally wrong and possibly criminal (engaging in activity that should be subject to imprisonment and/or a fine)?

Explore some of the following questions in building your defense: Is being a surrogate different in kind from doing socially acceptable work that is given a monetary value? An artist who creates a beautiful work and gives it to others? A mover who carries others’ heavy possessions? A sex therapist who uses their body (engaging in intimate acts) to help others?  A childcare worker or nanny who tends to other people’s children (including breast feeding them)? How much weight should be given to narratives of paid surrogates in India? If they say they feel empowered by the experience does that mean it is a morally unproblematic practice and a couple is not engaging in problematic moral behaviour in paying for a surrogate’s services/renting the use of her womb?   950 words

In your discussion apply moral theories and critically explore arguments presented in our course readings on this topic, by Baylis and Downie and Crozier et al. (discussed in my power points).

** You should refer to at least 5 sources in your essay (which can include the course 2 course readings.)  Your essay should have a brief introduction (a few sentences) and a brief conclusion (a few sentences).  Your entire essay (without the reference section) should be approximately 1500 words.   Marks will be deducted if you go more than 200 words under or over the word length.   Please put a word count on your first page; do not include a title page.   In your introduction get to the point immediately about what you will be up to step by step in the paper.  Your conclusion should briefly sum up what you have argued and shown.  The paper will be marked for proper grammar, clarity, organization, persuasiveness, and effective use of sources.

Marking grid final:   A) 30 points  B)  60 points  C) (Introduction, Conclusion and Works Cited Page)  10 points

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