Monday, November 23, 2015

First Uterus Transplant in the U.S.

If all goes according to plan, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic will perform the first U.S. transplantation of a uterus within the next few months according to an article in The New York Times. Eight women are currently being evaluated as the possible first candidate for the procedure. All eight are women who were either born without a uterus, or whose uterus was surgically removed or damaged at some point.

Why hasn't it be done before, you might ask? The primary reason is that extensive and risky procedures such as organ transplants have traditionally been done only to save the life of the patient. But the women who want this uterine transplant are medically healthy, except for the inability to have the experience of having a baby. The procedure will be risky, both for the mother and the baby. The surgery itself will be extensive. And the mother will most likely have to take tissue rejection drugs throughout pregnancy, which could affect the fetus. In the worst case scenario, if the uterus is rejected during pregnancy, there goes the fetus as well.

I'm not against the procedure necessarily; if a woman wants to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and take the risk, that would be her choice. What I am against is having uterine transplants become so routine that eventually you and I are asked to pay for them via health insurance. Let's face it, uterine transplantation would be a selfish act by an otherwise healthy woman who simply insists on experiencing pregnancy and childbirth. It has very little to do with wanting to raise a child; for that there is adoption, or surrogacy if the couple insists on raising a child with only their genes.

That's just my opinion. What's yours?

No comments: