Eugenic Utopia or Postmodern Peril? A Discussion of the Ethics of Reproductive Technology

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Program Name


First Reader

Philip Novak, PhD

Second Reader

Christian Dean, PhD


This essay analyzes the ethical questions raised by those who use surrogacy, fertility drugs, and/or various laboratory procedures in order to bear children. The overriding theme is the part that selfish, indifferent individualism characteristic of a present-day liberal democracy plays in guiding people's use of these technological interventions. Such individualism often blinds people to the effects their choices have not only on their children but also their surrounding communities. The use of fertility drugs and other technological interventions has resulted in an unusually large number of multiple births. In their desperation, parents choose to ignore the myriad of health effects children of multiple births will likely suffer, as well as the unfair economic pressure placed upon the surrounding communities to sustain what would otherwise be an unsustainable situation. In comparing surrogacy today to the vision portrayed by Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid's Tale, this essay points out that we are potentially headed toward a more divisive, sexist, and litigious society in which children produced via surrogacy, as well as the surrogates themselves, become more and more objectified, if not rejected altogether.

Only available in print

Scan Your Thesis