A piece from the Bioethics Collection of Editions and Publications of the UB receives the National Prize on University Editing to the top monography on health sciences

News in brief | 20-10-2020

The book Maternidad y gestación en venta. Fabricar bebés en la era neoliberal, by Miguel Ángel Torres Quiroga, received the National Prize on University Editing to the top monography on health sciences, given by the Spanish Union of University Publishers (UNE). The jury noted the volume offers “a critical view on the different perspectives of surrogacy without escaping the political dimension of this issue”.


The book treats ethical problems of surrogate mothers: moral limits of the market, the human body as an object to hire and the conflicts between negative and positive freedom. Contrary to the neoliberal position that defends its regulation, the author assumes that for reproductive freedom to be fair and equal, we need to reflect on structural inequalities –a reflection on which the book contributes.

After giving the reasons, on behalf of freedom, that reproductive liberalism uses to justify the regulation of surrogate mothers, the author analyses the implications of a such a contract focusing on concepts, such as the property of the body and the person, that limit the freedom of the surrogate mother. Torres Quiroga scrutinizes the moral limits of the market: the ethical dimension and harmful effects of such a contract. Last, the book concludes that the surrogate contract promotes social, economic and gender relationships featured by inequality, where only a part benefits from the other’s vulnerability.

Miguel Ángel Torres Quiroga holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Autonomous University of Madrid. Among his main interests are moral philosophy and politics. He has conducted research projects on social studies of science, sexuality, power and ideology in the Monterrey Technologic Institute (Mexico), and writes about cinema and ethical values in online magazines.

Maternidad y gestación en venta. Fabricar bebés en la era neoliberal is the 22nd title in the Bioethics Collection of the Bioethics and Law Observatory of the University of Barcelona. Led by María Casado, the collection promotes a flexible, pluridisciplinary and lay idea of bioethics, within the framework of respect for recognized human rights and it promotes the informed debate on ethics related to medicine, health sciences and technologies applied to human beings. In 2013, the Bioethics Collection published a title on this issue: Gestación por sustitución. Ni maternidad subrogada ni alquiler de vientres, by Eleonora Lamm. You can find more information on the Bioethics and Law Observatory of the UB related to surrogate pregnancy in this open-access document: Document sobre gestació per substitució.

In 2018, the collection obtained the Label of Quality in Academic Editing, an award given by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA) and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT). This label distinguishes the best practices on university editing and honors the scientific excellence of the editing process.