Is It Ethical to Raise a Baby Inside an Artificial Womb?
Academics who invented artificial wombs to prevent premature babies from dying; In this study, they first used this device in a fetus. in …
Academics who invented artificial wombs to prevent premature babies from dying; In this study, they first used this device in a fetus. in lambsIt tells you what they tested.
Researchers have used this device, premature lambs that it is effective in their development. In fact, according to the observation they made for 1 month, the lambs showed a very good development, just as expected. Here are the details of the research…
This artificial womb device is actually a transparent bag filled with synthetic intrauterine fluid.
There is a machine outside the bag. This is tied to the baby’s umbilical cord (attached to the lamb, as you can see in the picture) so that it plays the role of the placenta, a tissue that develops inside the uterus during pregnancy. Thus, blood nutrients and oxygen is being given. In addition, this device also allows waste gases such as carbon dioxide to be thrown out, in other words, it functions as a dialysis.
We can liken it to a newborn incubator. In addition, this system is completely isolated from the environmental influences that a baby in the mother’s womb may be exposed to. So what do we mean when we say that? Example; the child in the womb of a smoking mother, to the harms of smoking is exposed. Or, the child of a mother who drinks alcohol or uses medical drugs will not be positively affected by them. Here is the artificial womb; It provides the baby with a sterile environment completely free from these negative environmental factors.
The academics who carried out the research; he says they built this device so that the mother can do everything she does to the baby. In other words, thanks to this device, the fetus (baby in the womb – this stage covers the period from the 3rd month of pregnancy to birth) growth and maturationmay occur.
The researchers explain that they first tried the device on the lamb: Actually, we observed the normal growth phase of the lamb. We saw a normal development in the lamb’s lungs, brain and many visible and measurable limbs. In three or five years in premature human babiesWe would love to try this device too’.
For example, experts keep the lamb in a warm, dark room where they can image it with ultrasound. Then she makes him listen to the heartbeat of a mother. On top of that, the animal feels as if it is in the mother’s womb. The reason why they chose the lamb as a test subject in terms of human developmentWe can say that they think that it sets a suitable example.
In short, as you can see, the development of the baby is ensured with a completely artificial uterus, which is close to the brand new uterus. In fact, the researchers also came up with this invention. miracle of technology looking as. At this point, a valuable question arises. In fact, an attempt is made to keep alive a living being in a condition of death, due to the motto of postponing death as much as possible. So how accurate is this? And if that’s called living…
For example, how can such a device be tested on humans? Would that really be ethical?
Many scientists draw attention to the ethical aspect of this issue. Dena Davis, a professor of bioethics at Lehigh University, says the device would have painful results if tested in humans. Because if the artificial womb fails for a human fetus, it means a lot of people suffer for an experiment. That in itself is a riskalready.
Davis said, “Is it the calm death of a baby, or because of this device? to die in pain better?” he asks. So the professor is fussy about testing the artificial womb in humans.
The expert at the head of the study, Alan Flake, says that in order to get positive results, it is necessary to ignore the ethical fluctuations. According to him, babies can experience various disabilities when they are born too early. For example, approximately 90% of these babies who survive will suffer from cerebral palsy (cerebral palsy), mental retardation, convulsions, paralysis, blindness and deafness. diseasesappears to have emerged.
In other words, according to the expert, living like this is essentially an unfortunate situation. If a normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, this device is used for babies born at 23 or 34 weeks pregnant. What is meant here is, your artificial womb in fact, it is a device produced to enable individuals to live in a healthier form. Researchers estimate that approximately 30,000 babies are born earlier than 26 weeks each year in the United States. Because of this ratio, Flake means that when there are so many prematures and he can help them, there is no need to disturb the work with unnecessary haste.
In fact, Davis adds a new one to his questions: This kind of thing, rather than the death of a baby. living in a boxHow can parents accept him to continue his life?
In addition, the professor mentions that even if this technology works, the thin line between the fetus and baby may disappear. So what is meant here is: We are either born or die. Is the creature grown in the artificial womb a baby or a fetus? According to the expert this distinction it gets blurry. According to him, by trying to forcefully live someone who is going to die, he to a living creatureIt would be more true if we say that they do nothing but transform.
In addition, this device can mimic women’s conception process. In this way, even the device that conceives can be produced, which means the acquisition of a natural feature of women through medical technologies.
Thus, embryos can be grown completely outside the body. In fact, Davis, referring to the Gattaca movie shot in 1997 (in the movie, a superior, perfect human race was produced for special tasks, playing with the genes) says that even such a possibility would be quite dystopian if it were realized. In fact, scientists are already using stem cells. sperm, egg and embryo trying to produce assets such as There is also work being done to produce an artificial version of the female reproductive system.
For example, these devices can be used for evil purposes. As you say, Scott Gelfand, a bioethicist at Oklahoma State University, worries that some policies might use it to force women to have abortions. According to the expert’s theory, women can have abortions and then fetuses taken from them, to artificial wombscan be placed.
Again, bosses may ask women to use artificial wombs to eliminate maternity leave altogether. You know that birth has become a branch and in this field serious money it turns. For example, insurance companies may offer to switch to the artificial uterus system in order not to cover the costs of birth. From a sociological point of view, the first area to be included in the field of medicine was self-birth.
In traditional periods, it was done collectively in the residence, where the ladies from experienceIn the modern period, the births made with formulas such as cesarean section, accompanied by specialists, have taken the place of births.
This transition is a time when people face pain and hardship. coping motives It is about evolving into a situation that weakens people and leaves people in need of medical care. With the medicalization of childbirth, women even began to hire birth coaches, with whom they consulted every move they made during their pregnancy.
We can also say that the pregnancy process, which previously developed jointly in daily life, was defeated by the rational (I use this concept here in the sense of mechanical mind/thinking) movements of modern people. Thus, all practices related to pregnancy stages, in the expert profile started to be determined by individuals. This has resulted in women not having to think at all about what might be best for them and their children.
In other words, I can say that birth, which is an easy natural state of daily life, has officially turned into a capitalist market and is included in the health industry. In fact, according to sociologist Barbara Katz Rothman, the technological transformation of pregnancy into an artificial womb is not a good thing. Considering the reasons mentioned above, we find this idea of the sociologist logical. Because the sociologist said that raising a child in an artificial womb, rejection of the human-baby bondthinks it means.
Flake and his team are only interested in keeping premature babies alive, an artificial womb that can get pregnant He says they don’t bother to produce. They see the criticism of other researchers as an obstacle to the progress of science. From a logical perspective, the concerns of other researchers are not unfounded.
So what do you think about this? Do you find it true that technology goes beyond the natural features of life? You can express your ideas in the comments.
- Resources:Npr, Nature
- Image Sources:Elle, JSTOR Daily, Recognized Science, Neo Life, Futurism, The Independent, Futurism 2, ZME Science, Works In Progress, VICE