ACOG Issues Committee Opinion on Surrogacy

February 4, 2008

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued an opinion statement on surrogate motherhood [PDF] through its Committee on Ethics. The piece addresses types of surrogacy, public policy, major arguments for and against surrogacy arrangements, and responsibilities of physicians when attending to such arrangements.

Among the guidances:

  • “Because of the risks inherent in surrogacy arrangements, such arrangements should be considered only in the case of infertility or serious health-related needs, not for convenience alone.”
  • “A physician may justifiably decline to participate in initiating surrogacy arrangements for personal, ethical, or medical reasons.”
  • “The pregnant woman should be the sole source of consent regarding clinical intervention and management of the pregnancy, labor, and delivery.”
  • “The obstetrician must make recommendations that are in the best interests of the pregnant woman and her fetus, regardless of prior agreements between her and the intended parents.”
  • “The intended parents may have access to the patient’s medical information only with the pregnant woman’s explicit consent.”

The entire report is an informative read, summing up a host of surrogacy-related ethical concerns. I found it particularly interesting as it touches on physician refusal, the rights of the surrogate to make her own medical decisions, privacy, convenience vs. medical necessity, and many other topics that arise in discussions of other reproductive rights.

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