Testing the Limits of Freedom of Contract: Commercialization of Reproductive Technologies and Materials

Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 32, p. 613, 1994

90 Pages Posted: 27 May 2008

See all articles by Michael J. Trebilcock

Michael J. Trebilcock

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Melody Martin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anne Lawson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Penney J. Lewis

King's College London

Abstract

This article examines the cases for and against commercializing, or commodifying, reproductive materials and services. Using a supply/demand third-party framework, three basic scenarios in which commercial-exchange relationships may be possible - exchange of gametes and zygotes, exchange of gestational services, and exchange of fetal material - and the major parties of interest, or stakeholders, are identified. The study sketches the liberal, essentialist, and radical contingency theories that shape the debate over the commercialization of reproductive materials and services. The article then attempts to derive some basic governing principles that reflect as much common ground as possible amongst these various normative perspectives, while recognizing that complete reconciliation is impossible. Taken together, these principles are designed to reflect a strategy of constrained commodification, where commercialization or commodification, that is, financial remuneration, plays a relatively neutral role in the utilization of reproductive materials and services. In light of these principles, the article concludes by sketching legal and regulatory regimes with respect to the exchange of gametes and zygotes, gestational services, and fetal tissue.

Suggested Citation

Trebilcock, Michael J. and Martin, Melody and Lawson, Anne and Lewis, Penney, Testing the Limits of Freedom of Contract: Commercialization of Reproductive Technologies and Materials. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 32, p. 613, 1994, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1137654

Michael J. Trebilcock (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-5843 (Phone)
416-978-1279 (Fax)

Melody Martin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anne Lawson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Penney Lewis

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom
+44 20 7848 1103 (Phone)
+44 20 7848 2465 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/law/people/academic/plewis.aspx

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