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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Reducing disabilities

Scientists are testing artificial wombs.

I think that's a good thing that might reduce the enormous amount of babies set to exist rather than live a proper life. On this alien planet there are more and more humans, not living, but just surviving.

Scientists Create Artificial Womb That Could Help Prematurely Born Babies
A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. A human device would be designed for those born 23 or 24 weeks into pregnancy.
Only about half of such babies survive and, of those that do, about 90 percent suffer severe complications, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness and deafness, Flake says.
About 30,000 babies are born earlier than 26 weeks into pregnancy each year in the United States, according to the researchers.
But, it's not that simple.
Davis worries that the device is not necessarily a good solution for human fetuses.
"If it's a difference between a baby dying rather peacefully and a baby dying under conditions of great stress and discomfort then, no, I don't think it's better," Davis says.
"If it's a question of a baby dying versus a baby being born who then needs to live its entire life in an institution, then I don't think that's better. Some parents might think that's better, but many would not," she says.
And even if it works, Davis also worries about whether this could blur the line between a fetus and a baby.
"Up to now, we've been either born or not born. This would be halfway born, or something like that. Think about that in terms of our abortion politics," she says.
And, it could get worse!
There's also a danger such devices might be used coercively. States could theoretically require women getting abortions to put their fetuses into artificial wombs, says Scott Gelfand, a bioethicist at Oklahoma State University. 
Employers could also require female employees to use artificial wombs to avoid maternity leave, he says. Insurers could require use of the device to avoid costly complicated pregnancies and deliveries.
"The ethical implications are just so far-reaching," Gelfand says.
In the UK, we have torn each other apart with the Charlie Gard case.  Charlie Gard would not have been helped by gestating full term in an artificial womb, but he would be condemned to just 'being' rather than living. 

For mitochondria mis-spellings in families there is a technique that could assist the Gard's to have a healthy little brother/sister for Charlie. 

First 'three person baby' born using new method

So medical technology is both wonderful and terrible. Reducing disability, not simply extending 'existing' would improve this place that we call our home.