A recent article from The New York Times considers the ethical and legal implications of this new technology if it is applied to humans. One of the most likely situations that could arise would be using the artificial wombs for premature infants. An artificial womb could eliminate or address many of the issues and risks that face premature infants in incubators such as undeveloped lungs and neurodevelopmental challenges, and could be a life-saving technology for many. However, artificial wombs would not allow for contact or interaction between parents and infants that can be facilitated with incubators, which is something that is extremely beneficial for both the parents and the infant emotionally and physically.
“When I started my Ph.D. looking into the ethics of artificial wombs in 2009, several people told me that it was purely science fiction, and not anything that will happen anytime soon,” stated Dr. Elizabeth Yuko, Health & Sex Editor for SheKnows Media. She continued, “While the recent trials were conducted on lambs, not humans, the rapid evolution of reproductive technology means ethicists have to stay a few steps ahead of clinical practice.”
Dr. Yuko’s research interests include sexual health and reproductive ethics, human enhancement and research ethics. She adds that she is “thankful to have had the opportunity to address some of these early ethical issues in The New York Times.”
As one of the most groundbreaking sitcoms of all time, The Golden Girls introduced a range of bioethical issues on the show regarding medicine, the human body and women’s health.
In this TEDx Talk, Dr. Elizabeth Yuko, a Fordham University Center for Ethics Education fellow and adjunct professor, discusses how influential Golden Girls was, and still is, as a lens for the study of bioethics and its principles using examples from the show’s most notable episodes.
Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is also the Health Editor at SheKnows Media, a women’s lifestyle digital media company operating SheKnows.com. BlogHer.com. HelloFlo.com and STYLECASTER.com. Please visit her website and Twitter page for more information.
On Tuesday it was reported that the first live birth resulting from mitochondrial donation was born in New York to a Jordanian couple. According to The New York Times, the fertility procedure – also referred to as “3-parent IVF” – was performed at a Mexican clinic and the baby is a healthy boy.
The purpose of a donor for this couple was to “overcome flaws in a parent’s mitochondria that can cause grave illnesses in babies.” Thus, the DNA from the egg of the healthy mother who has the mutation, is placed in the egg of a healthy donor after her nuclear DNA is removed. It is important to understand that the mitochondria of a cell are completely separate entities from DNA that determines inheritance.
The Jordanian couple took their chances with the procedure as they had lost two other children to the disease, one at age 6 and the other at 8 months. Dr. John Zhang performed the procedure at the New Hope Fertility Center’s clinic in Mexico as it is “effectively banned” in the United States, though it has been legal in the United Kingdom since last year.
The child is now 5 months old and healthy with normal mitochondria, as was first reported by New Scientistmagazine.
Wednesday, April 27, 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. | Walsh Library Special Collections room
Join us for a lunchtime lecture and discussion led by Daisy Deomampo, Ph.D. (assistant professor of anthropology, Fordham). Her research focuses on the intersection between technology, gender, health and social justice. She will discuss her long-term ethnographic fieldwork in India with surrogate mothers and Western intended parents, described in her forthcoming book “Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship and Commercial Surrogacy” (NYU Press, 2016). A brief response will be provided by Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D. (Center for Ethics Education).
This comes after the company unveiled an expanded “family bonding leave” policy in January, which allows employees who are new parents to take up to eight weeks of paid leave, in addition to the existing pregnancy policy that provides new mothers with up to 13 weeks of paid time off. The “family bonding leave” can be taken any time within the first 12 months of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.