New York State Senator Brad Hoylman has been on the CBC radar for some time now. He’s been pushing legislation to make commercial surrogacy legal in his state. He’s the direct beneficiary of the practice, which allows paying women to have babies for others. He and his partner, David Sigal, paid a woman in San Diego, CA to have their daughter for them, and he sees no reason why people in New York State must leave home in order to get a baby via surrogacy.

Now he’s just announced publicly his support for legalizing physician-assisted suicide in his state. In the wake of the Brittany Maynard case, Hoylman wrote in a memo, “This bill will give capable adults who have been given a terminal medical prognosis a measure of control over their end-of-life care options.”

I deeply disagree that end-of-life care should include “options” like euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

To be clear, in order for infertile or gay couples, or single men by choice to have a baby, Hoylman believes they ought to be able to legally pay women to gestate babies for them.

For the terminally ill patient, he thinks they ought to be able to legally pay doctors to prescribe for them lethal doses of drugs.

As my Governor, Jerry Brown, said in his famous letter vetoing legislation that would have paid women for their eggs for research purposes, “not everything in life is for sale nor should it be.”

We should not be able to buy and sell babies – what else is the surrogate being paid to do but to gestate and surrender a child? We certainly should not be able to buy or sell death – the doctor knows when he writes the prescription he’s just granted the person the “choice” to end his or her life.

Caveat Emptor and Caveat Venditor!


Author Profile

Jennifer Lahl, CBC Founder
Jennifer Lahl, CBC Founder
Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.