Who is responsible should something go wrong, he wonders? “What’s the strategy for handling a stillborn baby, (or) a damaged baby?” Is it worth the risks when other options — surrogacy or adoption — exist? “Is it worth taking the risk just to permit the person to deliver the baby? How important is this?”
Beyond the “huge challenge” of the potential risks of immune suppressing drugs on the mother and any developing fetus — studies in women who have had kidney transplants have linked the drugs with a higher risk of miscarriage, prematurity and uterine growth restriction, though not with an increased rate of birth defects — is the issue of cost, Caplan said. “Given other health care priorities, where does this fit in?”
Experiments in rats, mice, sheep and goats have been promising, but “we have not done the correct experiments in animals, we’ve not done the correct experiments in non-human primates,” says Canadian reproductive biology expert Dr. Roger Pierson. “We’re taking a full-on run at this in humans without really understanding what it is we’re doing.” […]
If the procedure evolves into something that can be widely offered, there’s a risk some women might feel coerced into giving up their uterus, observers say. “One sister might feel, ‘I’ve got to donate my uterus to the other, she needs a child, what choice do I have,’ ” said Caplan.
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