Problem

Unethical foetal surgery

Incidence:
In 1995 it was reported that some of the latest research in foetal surgery includes: 1. injecting healthy stem cells (of liver or bone marrow) purified from aborted foetuses into foetuses with hereditary deficiency diseases, such as thalassaemia; 2. transplanting parts or whole organs from one foetus into another; 3. creating chimeras, not only by foetal to foetal transplants (1 and 2 above) but also by cross-species transplantation, human-sheep, human-monkey and human-mouse (to date only tested by making animal chimeras containing human cells); and 4. growing limbs and other parts of aborted foetuses for open-womb plastic surgery of deficient foetuses.
Counter Claim:
Before around 12 weeks, foetal tissue does not reject foreign tissue because its immune system is not fully developed. The possibility of inducing pre-birth tolerance of a human donor's tissue (or even xenogeneic (cross-species) tolerance), implies that human (or animal) organs could be used as life-saving transplants in an affected individual after birth.
Values:
Unethical
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET