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Smer Comments: commercialization of the human body

Commercialization of the human body and body functions implies the selling of organs, cells or tissue, or a person offering her body for different medical purposes. Examples of this are trafficking of human kidneys, trade regarding non-fertilized human eggs and commersial surrogacy arrangements.

These three examples are discussed in a report from the Danish Council of Ethics. The sometimes illegal commerces, mean that the person who offers her body, or parts of it, is putting herself at risk. The subject raises several ethical issues, for example questions regarding human dignity.

The Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics has now commented the report, and rejects all commercial trade concerning human eggs, kidneys and surrogacy arrangements. The Council is also against the idea of introducing certification schemes for the companies providing these services. Another of the Councils comments concerns what principles that should be guiding the compensation given to egg donors and when compensation turns into illegal trafficking of organs.

The report is only available in Swedish.