The lost dignity in "good death" and the sterility of "surrogacy"

  1. Lemma
  2. Изгубеното достойнство в „добрата смърт” и безплодието на „сурогатното майчинство”
  3. Bulgarian
  4. Nachev, Ivaylo
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 18-9-2016
  7. The lost dignity in "good death" and the sterility of "surrogacy"
  8. Christianity and Culture
  9. surrogacy - euthanasia - legislation - fertilization - consumerism
    1. In the article archpriest Dobromirov argues against recent law proposals in the Bulgarian Parliament that would allow euthanasia and surrogacy to become legal in Bulgaria. He pointed out that the rapid development of science has opened new horizons for humanity, but at the same time created new moral and social problems, including characteristic to the post-modernity questions such as legalization of euthanasia, gay marriages and prostitution.

      The first that was examined, was the proposed in 2011 euthanasia law with the motivation behind it. Dobromirov characterized the euthanasia as a loss of human dignity, because of the crippling fear of possible pain and pointed out that the Church considers it homicide and suicide. According to the author, despite the big majority of the deputies who voted against during the initial discussions in the parliament commissions, the attempts to adopt bills, aimed at legalizing euthanasia will continue in the future.

      As for the proposed legislation changes that would allow surrogacy, the author pointed out that they were not considered problematic in the beginning, being defended by the people who proposed them as a solution to the demographic crisis and the reproductive problems of some of the married couples. The author further pointed out that medicine today has invented new procedures in the treatment of reproductive disorders that are tested on the brink of the law and ethics. A central argument against the practice is that the surrogate mother is a unique personality and there is a real danger by legalizing surrogacy to turn the person into an instrument and the childbirth to become a commodity.

      The article first made an overview of the laws and legal precedence in the USA, Europe and other parts of the world. The author pointed that the problem is solved differently in various countries but in general the practice of surrogacy is unacceptable, and it is introduced in just few countries where it is subject to severe law restrictions. As for the position of the church on surrogacy, the author first pointed out that the Catholic Church is against all form of surrogacy, including that on altruistic grounds. The position of the Orthodox church is similar to the Catholic. In his opinion the surrogacy is seen in the Orthodox countries as a problem that provokes many unpredictable moral and social consequences because it violates the relations between the parents and the child. One problem is the possible inequality between the parents as in some cases only one of them will be a physical parent. In addition, there is the risk of brothers and sisters who remain unknown to each other, bringing in the future risks of incest. The author also referred to the position of the Orthodox Church that each type of assisted fertilization is offensive as a third party intervenes in the sacrament of marriage. At the same time it damages the intimate connection between the child and the surrogacy mother that came into existence during the pregnancy, which the author supported with the words of Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite that the child recognizes the movements and the feelings of the mother even in prenatal phase.

      In conclusion, archpriest Dobromirov argued that today in Bulgaria there is a real danger for the mystery of conception and birth of the human person to be profaned to a process of ordering a child to be delivered after nine months, subordinating even this sphere to the consumerism. Instead he advised measures for stimulating the adoption of children who have no parents. According to him, the church should actively take part in the debates because this can give a more holistic look on the definition of what is a human person and what are his/her connections with the others.