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Sarah Jane Toledano


2011 – present               Ph.D candidate in Health and Society, Unit of Technology and Social Change, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University, Sweden

2005 – 2006                   Erasmus Mundus Master’s in Applied Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden and Utrecht University, The Netherlands


Between the period of my Master’s and Ph.D studies, I did some teaching and research at the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. I was part of the research team that conducted an empirical and bioethical study with Okayama University, Japan on non-related kidney selling in the Philippines, and then I did research assistance work to the Philippine project partner of the EU-funded  EUROBESE Project,  Ethics and the Obesity and Overweight Epidemic: Images, Culture, Technologies and Interventions. I also did administrative work for the capacity-building projects of the UP-Fogarty Bioethics Training Program.

During my Ph.D, I was also given the opportunity to present my work to various conferences and symposia, and to be a guest researcher at the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre at Newcastle University.


Research Interersts

My research interests include: bioethical issues of commodification and exploitation within developing countries; ethical and social relations in assisted reproductive technologies, and feminist phenomenological approaches. My immersion in the interdisciplinary environment of Linköping University has inculcated in me an appreciation of how social scientific scholarships and qualitative research methods could be complementary to philosophical analysis.

Current projects

My Ph.D project is part of the bigger research programme, “Towards an Ethics of Bodily Giving and Sharing in Medicine” (see:  http://www.tema.liu.se/tema-t/forskningsprojekt/bodily-giving-in-medicine?l=en&sc=true). I conduct a combined empirical and philosophical study of altruistic surrogate motherhood between families and friends. I go beyond the view of surrogate motherhood as a contractual relationship between two transacting parties by focusing on the relational dynamics of family members and friends when they engaged with each other in bringing a child into the world, i.e. how surrogate mothers respond to the intended parents in light of their pre-surrogacy relationship, how meanings are negotiated by them, and how relationships are managed during and after the pregnancy.  I am also interested to understand the ways on how how certain conceptions that we have about the ways we share ourselves or give to others could be understood, strengthened or even questioned.

Informed by my interview data, I have examined altruistic surrogate motherhood as the relational work of hosting a child, and how this work could imply an embodied and far-reaching sense of responsibility.

Additionally, I have also explored the ways in which surrogate motherhood creates a variance of pregnant embodiment that questions previous conceptualization of meanings and relations created during pregnancy. I wanted to reframe the focus on pregnant embodiment from being a privileged embodied relationship between the pregnant subject and the gestating child into one that makes a more pronounced illustration of other relational multiplicities. I seek to draw attention to how sharing occurs in pregnancy, specifically on how others are able to feel-with another’s subjective experience through an approach that conceives of the self as both expansive and singular in its intersubjective relations.

In these previous works for my Ph.d project, I seek to open the grounds for considering the implications of asymmetries in embodiment to the respectful recognition of subjectivity

Currently, I am examining the vulnerabilities that take place within this practice.




Toledano, SJ and Zeiler K. (forthcoming) “Hosting for the Others’ Child? Relational Work and Embodied Responsibility in Altruistic Surrogate Motherhood”, Feminist Theory.

De Castro L. and Toledano S.J.. (2009) “Bioethics in the Philippines: A Retrospective” Asian Bioethics Review, (1) 4 : 426 –444.

Awaya T., Siruno L., Toledano S.J. et al. (2009) “Failure of Non-Related Kidney Donation in the Philippines” Asian Bioethics Review, (1) 2: 138 –143.



Toledano, SJ. (forthcoming) “Sharing the Embodied Experience of Pregnancy: The Case of Surrogate Motherhood” in Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics, and Border-Crossing: Perspectives on Giving, Selling, and Sharing Bodies, edited by Kristin Zeiler and Erik Malmqvist. London. Routledge.

De Castro, L and Toledano, SJ. (accepted and forthcoming)  “Bioethics Education in Resource - Challenged Countries” in Bioethics Education in a Global Perspective – Challenges in Global Bioethics, edited by Henk ten Have. Springer Publ.

De Castro, L and Toledano, SJ. 2014 “Chapter: Philippines” in Compendium and Atlas of Global Bioethics, edited by Henk ten Have and Bert Goudijn. Springer Publ.



Toledano S.J.. (2009) “Ethical Considerations in Shaping the Police Force” Asian Bioethics Review, (1) 1: 1-3.

Toledano S.J. and De Castro L.. (2007) “Response: In that Case” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 4 : 241-242.




Phone: +46 13 28 69 35
Fax:  +46 13 28 41 66

E-mail: sarah.jane.toledano@liu.se

Department of Thematic Studies -
Technology and Social Change
Linköping university
SE-581 83 Linköping

Project activities


Technology and Social Change is an interdisciplinary research unit focusing on how social actors create and use technology, and how technical change is woven together with cultural patterns, daily life, politics, energy systems, learning, and the economy in history and society.

About Tema

The objective for Tema - The Department of Thematic Studies is to pursue excellent research and education at undergraduate and advanced levels relevant to society.

Child Studies
Gender Studies
Technology and social change
Environmental Change

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Last updated: Wed May 27 15:33:17 CEST 2015