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Friday, May 24, 2013

Read it Before it's Printed! - Dr. Marie Hilliard Talks Surrogacy With OSV

The NCBC's Director of Bioethics and Public Policy, Dr. Marie Hilliard, recently spoke to Our Sunday Visitor about the ethical issues surrounding surrogate motherhood. 

Dr. Marie Hilliard


This Interview will be printed in the May 26th Edition of the weekly news publication Our Sunday Visitor; be sure to pick up a copy!
Below is an excerpt of the interview. For the full interview, click HERE. To read more news, click HERE



Our Sunday Visitor: Please discuss the ethical-moral issues of surrogate motherhood first, and then the peripheral issues such as the psychological and legal. 

Marie Hilliard: If you look at the ethical, moral and legal issues, they are not separate. What the Church teaches is based on what we call natural, moral law: that we can know the good by what we can know by reason. We do not have a distinction between how the good should be expressed in the public arena and what is the good in terms of the moral arena. My mother had a great saying about her version of what Paul, in Romans 2:15, has told us about how certain things are written on the hearts of women and men and can be known by reason: “Sanctity is sanity.” 

OSV: What does Church teaching say about surrogate motherhood? 

Hilliard: The Church has such great scholarship on this and other issues. For example, natural moral law, as it pertains to assisted reproductive technologies, is extremely well addressed in the document Donum Vitae (“The Gift of Life”) from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1987). In 2008, the same congregation issued further instruction on such matters in Dignitas Personae. Such documents are an invaluable resource to couples struggling with infertility.
The Church teaches that the child should be conceived as an act of love in the fruitfulness of a marriage. Further, the child has a right to be conceived through that natural act of love that demonstrates the ultimate source of love — the Creator who establishes the laws of nature pertaining to how human life is to be engendered and life is to be lived.
Parents don’t produce: They engender new life through an act of love, which is a sacred act; and they are called, as responsible parents, to love and raise that child. For this reason, we really can’t separate the psychological from the legal, the moral, the physical and the spiritual. The child has every right to be engendered through that natural act of love, and the child actually becomes the fruitfulness of the love of the parents. That triune relationship between the mom, the dad and the Creator is fractured with a surrogate pregnancy.

Click HERE to read more

For those interested, the OSV article included some excellent excerpts from the Catechism on this subject. Enjoy! Have a blessed and thankful Memorial Day.
Church Teaching on Surrogacy
Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“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’” (No. 2376).
“A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The ‘supreme gift of marriage’ is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged ‘right to a child’ would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right ‘to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,’ and ‘the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception’” (No. 2378).

Donum Vitae, the 1987 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation:

“[Surrogate motherhood] is contrary to the unity of marriage and to the dignity of the procreation of the human person. Surrogate motherhood represents an objective failure to meet the obligations of maternal love, of conjugal fidelity and of responsible motherhood; it offends the dignity and the right of the child to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up by his own parents; it sets up, to the detriment of families, a division between the physical, psychological and moral elements which constitute those families” (No. II-A-3).

Dignitas Personae, the 2008 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions:

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