Over the last month a series of news articles caught my eye, and reignited an ethical and philosophical thought process....this is not new news. Back in the last millennium, as a bright eyed third year Science undergrad, I did a unit on ethics: where these very topics were discussed. For a time, I was a dedicated no-kidder. That would be my way of helping the over-stressed planet and avoiding the blackhole of modern parenting....
Uterus Transplants To date, 7 babies have been born from transplanted uteri. One sister lovingly gifted her uterus - the children of the uterus call each other 'bag cousins'. Ethical warnings about this technology include the commodification of a 'dispensable' organ.
The future of artificial wombs is fast moving from SciFi to reality, as this article explores...where does this leave Mothering in A Brave New World?
The more established, but no less ethically fraught, technology that is IVF, egg donation and surrogacy is discussed by Dr Renate Klein.
Lessons from the past: Thalidomide Survivors demand recognition over disaster.
This is a huge topic, and none of these discussions are new. As a bright eyes undergrad, last millennium, I discussed these issues...that was when the technologies were just imagined and the human genome was not quite mapped. SciFi becomes reality, faster than we can decide if it is for good or evil...and the ethical questions have moved from should we and how do we 'control it', to how can we exploit it, and use it control people. Human Rights are are leaning towards identity, entitlement and a level playfield...and whilst the playfield is still only accessible to those who can afford it the goal is to get as many in as possible. More customers?
Or is it simply the innovation of the marvellous human brain, of Homo Mutante.
And as long as we have free choice, of all options - technological or not - then all is well?
This month, I updated a post I wrote about 5 years ago - which looks at the birthing landscape we need to navigate now. Whilst it is important to discuss and think about the future of reproduction, we need to know about what we can actually do NOW. There is no one way. Technological birth dominates, and in many cases is the default. So the way we navigate modern birth needs to include an understanding this modern landscape.
(read here about Technological versus Scientific Birthing)
If 'natural birth' or 'scientific birth' is your goal, it is not enough to understand birth physiology, we also need to be aware of the technologies and choose a care provider best aligned with our goals. Statistically, if your goal is a birth without technology, you would choose to birth at home, or a birth centre.
Modern Birthers will often be told to 'be flexible'. This bit of loaded advice seems to be right up there with 'leave your dignity at the door'. It usually suggests giving your power over to 'the system' (see also row row row your boat). What does flexible really mean?
Rather than suggest preparing for various scenarios, 'flexible' means accept a terrible experience or be ready to do as your are told. Good on you for wanting to have a natural birth. Soz it didn't work out.
There is very little support, or empathy, for those who do end up 'being flexible'.
International Women's Day was March 8th....many a corporate breakfast was help, many a social media meme...what is the History of IWD and who is the woman pictured?
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