Can we point to examples showing that the body is treated as an object?

Four examples will suffice to illustrate the practices that attack the non-disposability of the body.

First of all, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, during which the embryo may be donated, sold, submitted to experimentation, or destroyed.1

In addition, we also have the donor baby: an infant is conceived in order to be able to remove from it some cells which will be grafted on another.

Besides donor babies, we also have surrogate mothers who agree to put their own bodies at the disposition of a tenant and to deliver, on the date of maturity, another body (the one which they carried)- all on the basis of certain contractual conditions which describe bodies as though they were things.

Finally, abortion, which also consists of the disposing of a body at someone else's discretion, as one would dispose of any object.

From all the evidence, the principle of the non-disposability of the human body is today seriously devasted in both theory and practice.

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  1. On this problem see Michel Schooyans' book, Power over Life Leads to Domination of Mankind (St. Louis, Mo.: Central Bureau, CCVA, 1996) esp. Ch. III.

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