Obstetrics & Gynecology>>>>>Ethical and Legal Issues in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Question 22#

A 24-year-old patient who you have been seeing for routine gynecological care reports that she is considering becoming a surrogate mother for a couple she knows at work.

As her physician, what is your responsibility to her in preparing her to become a surrogate?

a. Contact the intended parents so that you can provide care for them also
b. Explain to her that you will require an additional fee to care for her pregnancy since she will be a surrogate
c. Recommend that she utilize the same legal counsel as the intended parents
d. Refer her to mental health counseling
e. Review the surrogate contract to ensure that she is being fully compensated

Correct Answer is D


When approached by a patient considering becoming a surrogate mother, the physician should address medical risks and benefits, along with ethical and legal concerns. Recommendations for independent legal counsel and explicit written preconditions and contingency agreements should be made. The physician should not treat the couple for whom the patient will become a surrogate. Referral for mental health counseling should be provided prior to initiation of pregnancy to explore potential psychological risks and effects on the surrogate mother. Compensation to the surrogate should not be determined by the physician or be contingent on the successful delivery of a healthy infant. The physician should receive only usual fees for medical services; other payments for financial gain are inappropriate.