Dr. Norman Fost’s latest comments on surrogacy

Dr. Norman Fost, who wrote two papers on the Ashley case and growth attenuation with Dr. Diekema this year, says on surrogacy in an article below, “It’s paternalistic to tell a competent woman how she can use her body, whether it’s to work in a coal mine or as a surrogate mother. “ He also says, “It’s not clear why that (commodification) would even be of any great consequences to the child if he or she is raised in a loving home.”


His comments on other issues such as savior sibling, steroid in sport are listed here.

Maybe we should pay more attention to who he is and what kind of ethicist he is when we think of the Ashley case or growth attenuation. Dr. Fost is Dr. Diekema’s mentor. Dr. Diekema had his residency at University of Wisconsin where Dr. Fost has been teaching. And Dr. Fost has always been there in the Ashley case controversy from the very beginning as you can see in the post linked above. Only he pretended to be an uninterested third party ethicist when he strongly defended the case in the Larry King live or in the Scientific American debate in early 2007.


One thought on “Dr. Norman Fost’s latest comments on surrogacy

  1. Here’s one bit from the Time article on “savior siblings” that I find a little eyebrow raising, tying up with selective abortion:

    What if a couple conceives a baby in order to obtain matching marrow for another child; and what if amniocentesis shows that the tissue of the fetus is not compatible for transplant? Does the couple abort the fetus and then try again? Says Dr. Norman Fost, a pediatrician and ethicist at the University of Wisconsin: “If you believe that a woman is entitled to terminate a pregnancy for any reason at all, then it doesn’t seem to me to make it any worse to terminate a pregnancy for this reason.”

    The “for any reason at all” is an attempt to echo the most liberal views of abortion, in fact pretty much no one endorses that conclusion in full generality: do pro-choicers really think that you can terminate simply because the fetus is, say, female, or in order to feed the family pet the aftermath? (Sorry if you’re reading this over breakfast.) The false universality here makes it seem easier to defend selective abortion than it in fact is, an issue important in thinking about disability, since that’s the developed world context in which selective abortion most clearly arises.

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