Baylor Medical Center in Dallas recently announced a first in the US: a woman gave birth to a baby from a transplanted uterus. The procedure currently has a staggering price tag: $200,000 to $250,000. It’s cheaper to hire a gestational surrogate to carry a baby, though still very expensive. So it seems uterus transplantation forces women to defend their desire to give birth, as opposed to leaving the birthing to someone else. But then, hiring a surrogate is much more expensive than adopting. So perhaps the woman who opts for a uterus transplant also has to defend her determination to procreate instead of adopting. In an Axios article on the “complicated ethics of uterus transplantation,” the fact that adoption is not pursued by the transplant patient is one of the main issues raised.
When thinking of genetically modified organisms, vast fields of corn and large confined animal feeding operations might come to mind. However, a recent development in medical technology has moved us one step closer to modifying animals for purposes other than agriculture. Xenotransplantation is the practice of transplanting cells, organs, or tissues across species. Previously, the largest obstacle to xenotransplantation was the potential infection of viruses between species. However, a new experiment successfully eradicated the threat of such viruses, opening the door a little wider in terms of pig-human transplantation.