Since the publication of the successful animal trials of the Biobag, a prototypical extrauterine support for extremely premature neonates, numerous ethicists have debated the potential implications of such a device. Some have argued that the Biobag represents a natural evolution of traditional newborn intensive care, while others believe that the Biobag would create a new class of being for the patients housed within. Kingma and Finn argued in Bioethics for making a categorical distinction between fetuses, newborns and ‘gestatelings’ in a Biobag on the basis of a conceptual distinction between ectogenesis versus ectogestation. Applying their arguments to the clinical realities of newborn intensive care, however, demonstrates the inapplicability of their ideas to the practice of medicine. Here, I present three clinical examples of the difficulty and confusion their argument would create for clinicians and offer a possible remedy: namely, discarding the term ‘artificial womb’ in favour of ‘Biobag’.
- ethics- medical
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information. Not applicable.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Premature infant with sudden respiratory distress
- A misplaced peripherally inserted central catheter presenting as contralateral pleural effusion
- Conventional revolution: the ethical implications of the natural progress of neonatal intensive care to artificial wombs
- 2% chlorhexidine–70% isopropyl alcohol versus 10% povidone–iodine for insertion site cleaning before central line insertion in preterm infants: a randomised trial
- Umbilical venous catheterisation: emergency central venous access which saves lives in coarctation of the aorta
- Advantages of being diligent: lessons learnt from umbilical venous catheterisation in neonates
- CLABSI reduction using evidence based interventions and nurse empowerment: a quality improvement initiative from a tertiary care NICU in Pakistan
- Fifteen-minute consultation: Decision-making pathway for neonatal vascular access
- Gestaticide: killing the subject of the artificial womb
- Peripherally inserted central catheters versus non-tunnelled ultrasound-guided central venous catheters in newborns: a retrospective observational study