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Grade 12M.  B.C. couple, tried for many years to have a child with no success  Decided to attain a surrogate Healthy, mother of two  Surrogate was.

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Presentation on theme: "Grade 12M.  B.C. couple, tried for many years to have a child with no success  Decided to attain a surrogate Healthy, mother of two  Surrogate was."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grade 12M

2  B.C. couple, tried for many years to have a child with no success  Decided to attain a surrogate Healthy, mother of two  Surrogate was implanted with an embryo created with the parents’ egg and sperm  First Trimester: Doctor detected that the child was likely to have Trisomy 21 Genetic Abnormality that leads to Down Syndrome  A further test confirmed the diagnoses

3  Biological parents demanded an abortion Wanted a “normal” child  Surrogate mother refused! Wanted to take the child to term Christian  The three had never considered such a scenario

4  Each side was given a lawyer  The child's fate then became about the surrogate contract  Since the surrogate was going against the wishes of the biological parent, the contract is broken  According to the agreement: If the surrogate carried the child to term the biological parents wouldn’t have any legal responsibility for the child  End Result: Abortion

5  The surrogate was not given a choice in the matter  Came down to a contract  Not given all options…  Coerced  Legal Experts say:  If the situation had been brought to court the surrogate contract would have been disregarded.  Court would draw from family law, requiring the biological parents to support the child

6 Ethical Issues? AbortionMasturbationAI / IVFSurrogateFertility DrugsAbandonment???

7  2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:  You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.  God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crime

8  Since abortion was decriminalized in 1969, a total of 2,790,166 Canadians have been aborted… (2005)  This only represents 90% of the abortions in Canada  Currently just over 3 million



11  2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."

12  IVF places the mother at risk of pelvic infection and ectopic pregnancy  More likely to have post-partum depression

13  2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.

14  Fertility drugs carry serious health risks, including a risk of over stimulating the ovaries and causing injury and even death  Fertility drugs and IVF both tend to result in pregnancies with multiples  Triplet births increased 300%  Quadruplet births by over 400%

15  Twins and multiples have higher risks of:  birth defects,  developmental disabilities  health problems  Serious pregnancy complications

16  In 2004  Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR)  Yet to be developed  Sets some limits:  Couples, same sex couples and single people can use reproductive technologies  Sperm and egg donors can stay anonymous  Illegal to sell sperm and egg, and to rent wombs, but donors and surrogates can be reimbursed for their expenses  Human embryos can’t be created for research, but they can be frozen, destroyed, or donated for research if they are left over

17  Sets some limits:  Sex-selection of embryos is not allowed, and the DNA of embryos can’t be altered. Humans cannot be cloned  Embryos can be created with the gamete of a deceased person who previously consented

18  “They were certainly quite shocked,” he said. “Obviously, [the parents] had come on a long journey before commissioning the surrogacy, [but] all they were thinking about was success.” (Dr. Seethram)  it raises questions about whether government oversight of contracts between mothers and “commissioning” parents is needed.

19  Françoise Baylis, a Dalhousie University bioethicist, said the case highlights how human life can become like a commodity in such transactions.  “The child is seen by the commissioning parents as a product, and in this case a substandard product because of a genetic condition,”  Argues that contract law should not apply to the transaction, unless human life is to be treated like widgets in a factory.

20  Should the rules of commerce apply to the creation of children?  Juliet Guichon of the University of Calgary  No, because children get hurt, It’s kind of like stopping the production line: ‘Oh, oh, there’s a flaw.’ It makes sense in a production scenario, but in reproduction it’s a lot more problematic.”

21  We live in a society where everything is disposable, including life…  Parenting involves a lot of unknowns

22  We can judge the parents for changing their minds when they found out their child would have special needs, but parents who conceive without assistance are still free to abort for these reasons. We can also judge these parents who refuse child support – but then, fathers don’t sign contracts prior to conception stipulating situations where they will and won’t pay (though some have argued that the should)…  Surrogacy is one of the few situations where pregnancy actually becomes a legal agreement



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