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Shopping Around the Baby Market

Gulzaar Barn from King's College London asks questions about commercial surrogacy and the way we view our bodies in an Essay from the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

Commercial surrogacy – the practice of paying another woman to carry a pregnancy to term – has been criticised for being exploitative, particularly when poorer women are recruited. Even if these women were paid more, and the exploitation element were reduced, would unease remain about “renting out” your body in this way? This essay from New Generation Thinker Gulzaar Barn will explore what, if anything, is different about the buying and selling of bodily services from other forms of trade. Should the body should be taken off the market ?

Gulzaar Barn taught philosophy at the University of Birmingham and is now researching at King’s College, London in the Dickson Poon School of Law. The Essay was recorded at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to select 10 academics each year who can turn their research into radio.

Producer: Zahid Warley

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18 minutes