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UK womb transplants met with ethical concerns

| | October 7, 2015
womb transplant
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Ten women in the United Kingdom may undergo womb transplants as part of an upcoming study, but the procedure raises some ethical issues, experts say.

The study was recently granted approval by the Health Research Authority, part of the U.K.’s Department of Health, which oversees research on humans. It will include women ages 25 to 38 who don’t have a uterus, either because they were born without one, or because they had the organ removed as treatment for a serious illness, such as cervical cancer. The researchers will use the women’s own eggs to create embryos that will be implanted after the operations, according to Womb Transplant UK, the charity organization in charge of the study.

One argument against performing a womb transplant is that the procedure is not lifesaving — people don’t need a womb to survive. This makes the procedure different from, say, a heart or liver transplant, in which patients cannot live without these vital organs.The risks of any transplant procedure become a bigger factor in the risk-versus-benefit analysis when the benefit of the operation is not saving a life, Caplan said.

The procedure raises the question, “How much risk and cost should anybody go through to try and have the opportunity to deliver their own child?” Caplan said.

Read full, original post: UK Womb Transplants: 5 Ethical Issues

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