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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 167

The Baby Business

Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, S. V. Rd, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai - 400 056, India

Date of Web Publication10-Apr-2013

Correspondence Address:
Nagraj G Huilgol
Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, S. V. Rd, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai - 400 056
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Huilgol NG. The Baby Business. J Can Res Ther 2013;9:167

How to cite this URL:
Huilgol NG. The Baby Business. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 May 28];9:167. Available from: http://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2013/9/1/167/110361

Editors: Debora L.Spar
Publisher: Harward Business School Press.
Year 2006
ISBN: 1-59139-62
"It is no use being coy about the baby market or looking it in a fairytale prose. We are making babies now, for better or worse, in a very tech way.

The book is not about trafficking. It is all about the business opportunity that has sprung up due to newer innovations in reproductive technology. There is now a new genre of writing which I call as medical novels. These books read like novels. The emphasis is crisp on story telling. Rarely do they dwell on the complexities of the subject despite extensive referring. Bera Spar has successfully written about the issues related to fertility management and economics of the same.

The book starts with the very beginning that is the quest to conceive. These are those who can't but do have an intensive desire to procreate. The book starts with the historical account of the 'ancient affliction', sterility. All accounts are west centric. For example "Give me sons" cried Rachel to Jacob. "Give me sons or I shall die!! Genesis 30:1 or that of Dr. Graham of Philadelphia who is said to have cured the infertility of Ductess of Devonshire. Ideas like Viyoga dealt in Mahabharata or any other culture are not dealt with.

The example of surrogacy from the book of Genesis sets the tone for the book. "Rachel - commands her husband to consort with her maid. Behold my maid, Bilah, she cries. "Go in unto her and that she may bear upon my knees, and I also obtain children by her!

The book in successive chapters deals with surrogacy, IVF, politics of adoption, transnational embryos, cloning and the markets for babies. She very dispassionately deals with many tricky ideas. Read for example - "To put it bluntly, a surrogate earning $ 20,000 in California is earning only about 40 percent more than a fulltime, minimum wage worker. The same surrogate in Mexico, by contrast, would be earning roughly twenty times as much as the minimum wage.

If we take the market lens, surrogacy should be out sourced much like garment manufacturing or IT. Her exposition on baby market is excellent. She emphasis the futility of not recognizing it as a trade. She does not think that it makes any sense in believing in value like truth and love as non commodities. Neither does she think that subjecting baby business to conventional market forces is either dehumanizing. There are many such stark assertions without much discussion on the ethical aspects.

The book is work reading. The reader can ruminate on the unanswered ethical issues.


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