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Thread: Uterine Transplants: Ethical or not?

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    #1

    Uterine Transplants: Ethical or not?

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    http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/i...eons_perf.html

    So this popped up in my FB newsfeed today. I don't really know how to feel about it. Because while I wish everyone who wanted to be pregnant could get pregnant and carry their child safely to term this seems like it carries too much risk to truly be ethical. What do y'all think?
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    Cleveland Clinic surgeons perform nation's first uterus transplant | cleveland.com

    So this popped up in my FB newsfeed today. I don't really know how to feel about it. Because while I wish everyone who wanted to be pregnant could get pregnant and carry their child safely to term this seems like it carries too much risk to truly be ethical. What do y'all think?
    I don't really think its any more unethical than any other transplant...as long as the woman acquiring the womb is informed of the risks/ dangers and accepts them I don't see doctors having an ethical issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Heather* View Post
    I don't really think its any more unethical than any other transplant...as long as the woman acquiring the womb is informed of the risks/ dangers and accepts them I don't see doctors having an ethical issue.
    Other transplants are to save lives. Uterine transplants are having healthy women undergo extensive surgery, to take antirejection drugs, subject the infants to those antirejection drugs, need monthly biopsies and still need IVF and another major surgery to have the baby. All of which carry some pretty hefty risks. There's a pretty big difference between transplanting a uterus so someone can carry a baby vs transplanting a liver to save a life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    Other transplants are to save lives. Uterine transplants are having healthy women undergo extensive surgery, to take antirejection drugs, subject the infants to those antirejection drugs, need monthly biopsies and still need IVF and another major surgery to have the baby. All of which carry some pretty hefty risks. There's a pretty big difference between transplanting a uterus so someone can carry a baby vs transplanting a liver to save a life.
    we transplant hands, faces, retinas...none of these are life saving and come with some of the same risks.

    I still believe if a woman is willing to accept those risks in order to have a child that is her decision to make. I know a lot of women who would and have risked their lives to carry their children so I think if this is a able to happen it should be an option to any want to be mother that it would help. As long as the women are fully informed and are in the right mind to consent I see nothing morally wrong with a doctor doing a uterine transplant
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    I don't think there is an ethical question.
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    #6
    As long as the party is fully informed and gives consent, I don't see any ethical issues with doctors who are willing to perform the procedure.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    As long as the party is fully informed and gives consent, I don't see any ethical issues with doctors who are willing to perform the procedure.
    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.
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    #8
    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.
    how is this different than developing any other surgery or procedure or heck even testing a new medication? Their are quite often other options but we still develop new, better ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Heather* View Post
    we transplant hands, faces, retinas...none of these are life saving and come with some of the same risks.

    I still believe if a woman is willing to accept those risks in order to have a child that is her decision to make. I know a lot of women who would and have risked their lives to carry their children so I think if this is a able to happen it should be an option to any want to be mother that it would help. As long as the women are fully informed and are in the right mind to consent I see nothing morally wrong with a doctor doing a uterine transplant
    Well corneal transplants are a relatively minor surgery, and while rejection while possible doesn't carry the same risks as when a major organ (like a uterus) is rejected. And, as far as I can tell, doesn't require life long drugs (just short term steroid eye drops) as the cornea, lacking blood supply, doesn't cause the same systemic response as a uterus would. Idk about face or hand transplants but maybe their ethics are just as questionable. They're almost just as new of procedures, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Heather* View Post
    how is this different than developing any other surgery or procedure or heck even testing a new medication? Their are quite often other options but we still develop new, better ones.
    Perhaps it isn't, but the end goal of experimentation should be to save or improve lives. It's not ethical to do experiments where the outcome is more dangerous than standard treatment (and it's barely ethical at all to experiment on pregnant women & fetus's, which is why there are so few clinical trials involving them... Much of what we know there is based on after market follow up & retrospective studies). I just don't see how this does that. Surrogacy is a safer alternative for people who want biological children but cannot carry them. That's not even a question as the IVF necessary for surrogacy is already a step along with several major surgeries and drugs needed for the uterine transplant. Uterine transplants aren't going to, like, increase access to women who would otherwise go without. If someone can afford a uterine transplant & all that entails, I am sure they can afford a surrogate.
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