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Women in a vegetative state and surrogate mothers: why this project will never succeed


The idea, which came from a professor at the University of Oslo, causes panic among some Internet users, but is not based on any study s

In recent days, the media machine has been racing around a "study" with the idea, to say the least shocking: to create a device similar to organ donation for women in a chronic vegetative state.

The goal is that the uterus of the latter is used to give infertile couples a chance to have a baby, suggests Anna Smajdor, professor at the University of Oslo, Norway.

The idea of ​​this researcher was taken up in a Swiss article of 20 minutes, itself quoting an article from the Daily Mail.

Then the proposal was mentioned by the Manif pour tous, but also condemned by the vice-president of Reconquête, Marion Maréchal, who castigated on Twitter a “level of dehumanization to vomit”.

“So any ethical barrier should now give way to satisfy the desires of some?

asks the chosen one.

What is it about ?

The idea that seems to come straight out of the book "The Handmaid's Tale" has no scientific basis.

Anna Smajdor, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo wrote an article published last November 18 in the journal “Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics”.

In the latter titled “Whole body gestational donation” (“a donation of the whole body by gestation”), she details the thread of her reflection.

Women in a chronic vegetative state - who have intact reflexes but who no longer have conscious activity - could be used as carriers after having consented to it beforehand, judges the Norwegian professor.

This “alternative” would serve “future parents who wish to have children but cannot.


Concretely, "the embryo would be implanted in the patient's uterus until its term", advances the academic, seeing nothing more than an extension of organ donation.

"People often donate knowing that their organs will be donated to those waiting for transplants and, in theory, the logic is the same," she said.

If some Internet users, alarmed, shared the information, "it is in no way a scientific study", insists Anne-Laure Boch, doctor of the Hospitals of Paris and doctor of philosophy.

“The article is a reasoned philosophical reflection on a social problem.


“A utilitarian vision”

“According to a utilitarian view, the author claims to use the bodies of people in a chronic vegetative state (CVE) to bear the children of infertile couples.

It is in a way a

biological uterus

while waiting for

the artificial uterus”,

observes the specialist.

Anna Smajdor further justifies her proposal by comparing it to organ donation for brain-dead people.

“It therefore puts on the same level, more or less, death and severe disability (vegetative state)!

Patients in EVC are for her like dead people, and we could therefore use as we want the

spare parts

of their body, in this case the uterus", continues the doctor who castigates a proposal as "monstrous as that of making experiments on severely handicapped people.

Proof that the idea scandalizes, the order of doctors in Colombia was forced to apologize after having published on its site a Spanish translation of the article by Anna Smajdor, reports the Telegraph.

The institution which, at first, had affirmed that the researcher's position did not represent its own, had to apologize, claiming to defend "medical progress in the service of humanity", while respecting "the most high bioethical standards”.

As shocking as it is, Anna Smajdor's proposal is therefore not even the start of a study.

In France, the National Consultative Ethics Committee had already opposed a proposal to carry out medical experiments on patients in a vegetative state.

“These patients are human beings, who have all the more right to the respect due to the human person that they are in a state of great fragility.

They cannot be treated as a means of scientific progress, whatever the interest or the importance of the experiment which is not intended to improve their condition", had defended the committee in an opinion dating from 1986.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2023-02-07

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