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Thread: Uterine Transplants: Ethical or not?

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    #11
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    As someone who was heartbroken to have their uterus removed, if I hadn't had children, I would be overjoyed at a transplant.

    I don't think it's for me to judge whether someone should chose suggoracy over transplant. Some women want the chance to carry their own child.

    I'm sure every new transplant received criticism, when it first hit the market, whether it be heart, skin, face, or limb.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by twistertwin View Post
    As someone who was heartbroken to have their uterus removed, if I hadn't had children, I would be overjoyed at a transplant.

    I don't think it's for me to judge whether someone should chose suggoracy over transplant. Some women want the chance to carry their own child.

    I'm sure every new transplant received criticism, when it first hit the market, whether it be heart, skin, face, or limb.
    This is where I am with this. I haven't had kids yet and if for some reason I cannot concieve or carry a baby, but there is an opportunity to change that I will do it. I am in no position to judge anyone on this topic.
    "She knew she loved him when 'home' went from being a place to being a person."
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    #13
    TBH, this doesn't sit well with me at all but I potentially will need double lung transplant, and perhaps heart and /or liver as an alternative to death. My mom is also a liver transplant recipient who has made a remarkable recovery (hoping it continues to go well!). I've also had more friends than I can count have double lungs and kidneys and livers both dead and alive. I also am really pro adoption.

    So basically I'm saying I don't get this AT ALL, but, I get that I don't get turmoil over not having bio kids. I actually don't even get turmoil over needing a life saving transplant. It is a no brainer to me because i understand that bodies are prone to various types of failure and modern medicine is pretty great.

    So after typing that out...it is between patient and doctor understanding the risks and that they will potentially effect the baby but personally, I think it is kind of dumb to undergo transplant that requires anti rejection meds (that are awful and dangerous but needed) for a non life threatening thing.
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    This addresses the ethical concern of autonomy. But what of "first, do no harm." It seems to me that given these transplants are experimental & given the risks & the availability of other, safer alternatives (surrogacy) that it may be unethical for that reason alone. Informed consent is just one part of the puzzle.
    Surrogacy is fraught with its own ethical and legal concerns so I would not exactly say its a "safer" alternative. By having someone be a surrogate you are putting the gestational mother's life at risk to have the biological mother's baby. Pregnancy is not without it's risks. And then on top of that is the question of compensation. Surrogacy is being outsourced overseas to places like Nepal and other Southeast Asia countries. Women who are in dire need of money to support their families are being exploited as surrogates for the cheapest price so that surrogacy companies can profit. The whole surrogacy system has some serious issues.

    I don't see any problem with uterine transplants. Not having a uterus can cause serious mental problems for a woman. Especially if she lost her uterus (or was born without one) before she was able to conceive a child. So yes, a uterus is not a lifesaving operation but the vast majority of operations we perform do not save lives, they improve quality of life.

    You mentioned the risk of anti rejection drugs. So should all women who have had a transplant of any kind not be allowed to have a child due to the "risk"? Yes, there are a few antirejection drugs we don't want women on when they are pregnant but there are several we are able to use in pregnancy. There are higher rates of miscarriages and prematurity but this is also true for women who smoke. So maybe we should say it's also unethical for women who smoke to get pregnant. overall thousands of women who have had organ transplants have had successful pregnancies.

    Yes, a doctor's job is to first "do no harm" but I disagree with you that attempting uterine transplants is harmful. There are of course risks involved (as there are with everything) but that doesn't mean we are causing harm. What about patient's with gallstones that just have symptoms when they eat and want their gallbladder out? We do that surgery all of the time. The gallstones are not going to kill them but the surgery can. Should we not be taking people's gallbladder out? Instead should we let them live a miserable life everytime they eat? As long as the patient has informed consent then I am ok with it.
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    #15
    I'm an organ and tissue donor. If someone is able to use my uterus after I'm gone that is all right with me.
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    #16
    I don't see how it's an ethical question unless they are transplanting uteruses and telling the recipient that everything will be sunshine and rainbows and they will never have any lasting effects.



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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by sldanlm View Post
    I'm an organ and tissue donor. If someone is able to use my uterus after I'm gone that is all right with me.
    Absolutely! Me too!
    "She knew she loved him when 'home' went from being a place to being a person."
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by RetepDoc View Post
    Surrogacy is fraught with its own ethical and legal concerns so I would not exactly say its a "safer" alternative. By having someone be a surrogate you are putting the gestational mother's life at risk to have the biological mother's baby. Pregnancy is not without it's risks. And then on top of that is the question of compensation. Surrogacy is being outsourced overseas to places like Nepal and other Southeast Asia countries. Women who are in dire need of money to support their families are being exploited as surrogates for the cheapest price so that surrogacy companies can profit. The whole surrogacy system has some serious issues.

    I don't see any problem with uterine transplants. Not having a uterus can cause serious mental problems for a woman. Especially if she lost her uterus (or was born without one) before she was able to conceive a child. So yes, a uterus is not a lifesaving operation but the vast majority of operations we perform do not save lives, they improve quality of life.

    You mentioned the risk of anti rejection drugs. So should all women who have had a transplant of any kind not be allowed to have a child due to the "risk"? Yes, there are a few antirejection drugs we don't want women on when they are pregnant but there are several we are able to use in pregnancy. There are higher rates of miscarriages and prematurity but this is also true for women who smoke. So maybe we should say it's also unethical for women who smoke to get pregnant. overall thousands of women who have had organ transplants have had successful pregnancies.

    Yes, a doctor's job is to first "do no harm" but I disagree with you that attempting uterine transplants is harmful. There are of course risks involved (as there are with everything) but that doesn't mean we are causing harm. What about patient's with gallstones that just have symptoms when they eat and want their gallbladder out? We do that surgery all of the time. The gallstones are not going to kill them but the surgery can. Should we not be taking people's gallbladder out? Instead should we let them live a miserable life everytime they eat? As long as the patient has informed consent then I am ok with it.
    This is a really great post!

    I'm on Team Transplant, I don't see any issues with it at all. What right do I have to tell another woman she can't have this done? Would I personally ever get this transplant done? Probably not. But if another woman wants it in order to carry her own child, knows and assumes all of the risks, then more power to her.

    There are SO many procedures out there that are completely elective and not life-saving. Aside from transplants, what about cosmetic procedures? Breast implants? Nose jobs? They certainly aren't life saving but if someone wants to go that route, they are completely capable of making that decision for themselves and I see no issue whatsoever.
    ~Becca~


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    #19
    I don't think it's any different than penis transplants. You don't need a penis to live, but it does cause self-esteem and mental issues when a male loses his, I imagine not having a uterus, the thing that arguably makes a female a female, could cause some mental health issues.

    Doctors to Perform First Penis Transplants in the U.S. : People.com


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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    This addresses the ethical concern of autonomy. But what of "first, do no harm." It seems to me that given these transplants are experimental & given the risks & the availability of other, safer alternatives (surrogacy) that it may be unethical for that reason alone. Informed consent is just one part of the puzzle.
    Are breast implants unethical? Or liposuction? Were the early lipo and implant procedures unethical, simply because they were still experimental, and they weren't necessary for life and limb? All procedures were experimental once, so that argument seems like a non-starter. And we don't question any number of elective procedures on ethical grounds, yet this one is somehow different? Why?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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