Monday, January 20, 2014

Tummy For Sale?

I am troubled by the medical news from Sweden.  You can read it here.  Doctors have successfully transplanted a "womb" (uterus) from a living donor to a woman who otherwise would be unable to bear a child.  They have completed this transplant nine times.  Doctors in other countries are also pursuing this course.  You will read about the life changing possibilities of this procedure.  The recipient may have been born without a uterus - about 1 in 4,500 girls.  Or, for some other reason be unable to conceive.  Her eggs will have been fertilized in-vitro and frozen in preparation for transfer into her new uterus.After successful use, the uterus will be removed, sparing the new mother a life time of anti-rejection medicine.  For a childless couple the chance offered is tantalizing.  Why am I troubled?  If, as is expected, the transplant procedure will lead to the birth of healthy babies, what will prevent a "uterus market" from flourishing?  What will protect a desperate woman from offering her uterus for sale on a black market?  What will assure that the recipient's benefits will outweigh the risks to the donor?

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