Bioethical Applications of the Metaphysics of Pregnancy
As with most areas of assisted reproductive technologies (ART), surrogacy is highly regulated. And soon the law will have to catch up with the new developments in artificial womb technologies, such as ectogenesis. But ART legislation and policies are written in such ways that make large (and possibly mistaken) assumptions about the metaphysical relationship between the gestator and the fetus – whether the fetus is a part of, or contained by, the gestator. It is the purpose of this paper to highlight these assumptions and to demonstrate the impact that alternative metaphysical views can have on our conceptualization of certain ART like surrogacy and ectogenesis. Unless our policies on these can be metaphysically neutral, I recommend that they be responsive to metaphysics rather than presupposing it, such that any legislation will be metaphysically informed.