Deepak Sarma, professor of religious studies and bioethics, will give a lecture titled “Gestational Surrogacy and Hindu Bioethics: The Karma of Genetics and the Genetics of Karma” Wednesday, Sept. 18, from noon to 1 p.m. in Biomedical Research Building, Room TA200.
About the talk
While a great deal has already been written about cross-racial surrogacy in general and about surrogacy in India, there are no significant studies concerning gestational surrogacy from a Hindu perspective. What happens in cases where the surrogate is ethnically Hindu-Indian and the “intended” parents are, and identify as, “white?”
What, for example, are Hindu views on the sharing of minerals and nutrients with an embryo whose “intended parents” are outside of the caste system? What happens when views about genetic essentialism are intertwined with views about caste? And what are the Hindu views about the transference, sharing and intersection of karma between the surrogate and the fetus? What is the karma of genetics and the genetics of karma?
After offering a broad perspective on Hindu bioethics, Sarma intends to address gestational surrogacy from a Hindu perspective. He, thus, will problematize an already problematic discourse concerning the careful study of Hindu primary sources and myths. He will aim to help attendees unpack and understand the possible viewpoints of Hindu-Indian surrogates in the context of Hindu reproductive ethics given the importance and popularity of commercial surrogacy in India.