Does Every Body Have a Price? How Medicine Capitalises on the Vulnerable


Modern medicine in developed countries can achieve magnificent feats, but at what cost to those less fortunate? To get your dream baby you can buy “cheap white eggs” from Russia and use a surrogate from a developing country. In 2007, Australia was one of the world’s biggest importers of organs trafficked from the developing world. What ethical issues are at play? Are the burdens of carrying another’s child or providing organs for transplantation fairly distributed, or are we as wealthy Westerners benefitting from outsourcing to vulnerable bodies? This session tackles issues of exploitation and justice in the cases of commercial surrogacy and the international organ trade.


Dr Julian Koplin

Dr Julian Koplin is a Research Fellow with the Biomedical Ethics Research Group, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne. His research interests include the ethics of emerging biotechnologies, the methods of philosophical bioethics, transplant ethics, and the moral limits of markets. Julian was awarded his PhD in bioethics from Monash University in 2017.


Associate Professor Sonia Allan

A/Prof Sonia Allan OAM CF is an Associate Professor of Health Law at Deakin Law School. She has more than 20 years experience in the health, law, ethics and policy fields. A/Prof Allan was a Global Health Law Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center in 2011, where in 2012 she also won the Cali Award for Health and Human Rights. She is also a Churchill Fellow. In 2019 A/Prof Allan was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to tertiary education and the law. Her work examines the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by certain health matters, the regulation of emerging and existing health technologies, and public and global health law.