Human dignity and public order in the investigation of surrogacy

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  • 人間の尊厳と公序良俗 : 代理懐胎を手がかりとして

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On March 23, 2007, the Supreme Court denied legitimacy to twins that were born to a Japanese couple through an American surrogate mother. At the same time, the decision required the government to enact a law concerning surrogacy. Heretofore, guidelines of the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the report of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and the report of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare prohibit surrogacy, mainly because it is contrary to human dignity. Nevertheless, after analyzing public order, which is a component of human dignity, it is not clear that surrogacy is contrary to human dignity. Thus, this prohibition might result in the violation of basic rights. To productively discussing the validity of surrogacy, we need to balance the basic rights of the clients with those of the surrogate mother, to interpret these basic rights, and to evaluate life and body, which are not placed adequately in the rights-based framework, without referring to human dignity. In order to use the word "human dignity" appropriately, we should use the word as a result of consideration, and not for the purpose of consideration.


  • Bioethics

    Bioethics 18 (1), 30-38, 2008

    Japan Association for Bioethics


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