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posted by martyb on Friday March 11 2016, @03:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the hard-to-take dept.

Two Soylentils wrote in about the failure of the United States' first attempted uterus transplant:

Uterine Transplant Fails

The Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, has embarked upon a programme of uterine transplantation, with surgeries planned on a total of ten patients. The first recipient, however, has suffered an unspecified "sudden complication" and the transplanted uterus, which was obtained from a cadaver, has been removed.

The first uterine transplant, which was unsuccessful, was performed in 1931. This was the first time the procedure had been attempted in the United States, where it is still considered experimental.

coverage:

[Continues.]

First Uterus Transplant in the U.S. Fails After Complication

The first ever attempted uterus transplant in the U.S. has failed after an unknown complication occurred:

The Cleveland Clinic says it has removed a transplanted uterus — the first-ever in the U.S. — after the patient suffered from a "sudden complication."

The clinic conducted the landmark operation in late February. As we reported, the procedure is intended to "open up another possible path to parenthood besides surrogacy or adoption for U.S. women who do not have a uterus, or who have a uterus that does not function."

The transplant was part of a study that the clinic says is meant to include 10 women with uterine factor infertility, meaning "they were born without a uterus, have lost their uterus, or have a uterus that no longer functions." The clinic says in a statement that the study will continue despite this setback.

The risky procedure takes into account the chance of the body rejecting the organ by including the administration of anti-rejection drugs throughout the years following the surgery as well as monthly cervical biopsies to check for organ rejection. In vitro fertilization is used to create embryos that will be implanted in the uterus. The transplant is intended to be temporary, and after the successful childbirth of one or two babies the transplanted uterus is either removed by a hysterectomy or allowed to disintegrate. Nine uterus transplants have taken place in Sweden, resulting in 5 pregnancies and 4 births.

Study about the first ever live birth following a uterus transplant: Livebirth after uterus transplantation (DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61728-1)


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

 
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday March 11 2016, @04:09PM

    by bradley13 (3053) on Friday March 11 2016, @04:09PM (#317054) Homepage Journal

    I have to wonder about this... I mean, science is great, advances in medical technology improve people's lives, but...a uterus transplant?

    A uterus is not necessary for health. Having kids is not something you must be able to do. I would put a uterus transplant in the same category as cosmetic surgery - only much more dangerous because of the rejection problems. Ok, anyone has the right to cosmetic surgery, as long as it doesn't impact on other people. Meaning, for example, that it should not be paid for by governmental health programs.

    But a uterus transplant does impact on other people. At least, the intent seems to be to the carry a fetus to term. A fetus that will be exposed to massive medical risks by living in a uterus that could be rejected at any time, increased health risks due to immune suppression, plus all of the other effects of the transplant drugs that the mother must take.

    Imho, this is an unethical medical procedure.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @04:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @04:30PM (#317061)

    > Having kids is not something you must be able to do.... Meaning, for example, that it should not be paid for by governmental... programs.

    Same with schools.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @06:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @06:05PM (#317100)
      Good education is important in democracies. If you don't understand why, I hope you don't vote ;).
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @05:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @05:35AM (#317287)

        Jew don underspland scarkasm.

        Clerly.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday March 11 2016, @08:25PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 11 2016, @08:25PM (#317141) Journal

      Every child must be educated. Not every child must become a parent.

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @08:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @08:33PM (#317142)

        For thousands of years kids did not receive the privileged education they get today. It's completely unnecessary and the government shouldn't be paying for it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @09:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @09:25PM (#317172)

          For thousands of years the life expectancy was below 50 years, you were lucky if you survived past the age of 5, and the local warlord practically owned your life.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 11 2016, @09:28PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 11 2016, @09:28PM (#317176)

          For thousands of years kids did not receive the privileged education they get today.

          Yeah, and for thousands of years civilization was generally shitty. I mean fuck, we didn't even grudgingly stop trying to prevent black people from voting* until the sixties! And even then they had to send in the National Guard to physically [wikipedia.org] force [wikipedia.org] people (governors!) down south to stop being racist assholes.

          Being educated is not optional for 21st century society. How *much* education is. A populace with less education is generally easier to control and take advantage of.

          *Yes this is probably oversimplifying the problem and racism still exists. You know what I mean.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 11 2016, @09:37PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 11 2016, @09:37PM (#317185)

            Armed escort

            Woodrow Wilson Mann, the mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army—without its black soldiers, who rejoined the division a month later—to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Faubus.[8]

            Oh for fuck's sake. In Little Rock, they had to send in the actual army, because the governor had called out the state National Guard to block the integration.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by c0lo on Friday March 11 2016, @04:42PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 11 2016, @04:42PM (#317064) Journal

    A fetus that will be exposed to massive medical risks by living in a uterus that could be rejected at any time, increased health risks due to immune suppression, plus all of the other effects of the transplant drugs that the mother must take.

    What about the chance of the newborn from the transplanted uterus be the next Einstein, the one who manages to find feasible solution to FTL travel. The whole humanity would benefit for the entire life of the Universe.
    Can you afford to kick such a huge benefit down?

    ---
    (apologies, bradley13, mate, nothing personal, I don't know you.
    It is your post that I have problems with, it managed to push my evil button)

    Warning, warning warning: EXTREME RANT

    Imho, this is an unethical medical procedure.

    On the same line, using a religious "ethic" instead of a "rational" one: if God have wanted the uteri to be transplant-able, He'd have created them with loop-and-hook velcro bands.

    Fucking righteousness
    It can't be "live and let live"!
    It must be "the good of many prevails over to good of the few"... as long as "the good" get's defined by them.

    Funny thing... they may be not even be aware of how they think. After a while, righteousness becomes their second nature, an instinctive behav... nay, a knee jerk reaction.

    --
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    • (Score: 3, Touché) by fustakrakich on Friday March 11 2016, @05:10PM

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday March 11 2016, @05:10PM (#317076) Journal

      What about the chance of the newborn from the transplanted uterus be the next Einstein, the one who manages to find feasible solution to FTL travel.

      Yeah, except the kid genius was born in the wrong place and got blown up by a cluster bomb. Oopsy-daisy

      --
      La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @05:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @05:19PM (#317080)

      What about the chance of the newborn from the transplanted uterus be the next Einstein, the one who manages to find feasible solution to FTL travel. The whole humanity would benefit for the entire life of the Universe.
      Can you afford to kick such a huge benefit down?

      You can't use that to guide yourself in life. What if you marry the wrong person and instead she would have married someone else and had the next Einstein, the one who manages to find feasible solution to FTL travel? The whole of humanity would benefit but now they won't because you decided to marry the wrong person. Kill yourself.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @08:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @08:06AM (#317301)

        What if you marry the wrong person

        Not applicable, I'm not married.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @12:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @12:32PM (#317346)

          Yes it is! We would have had the next Einstein if you hadn't selfishly evaded marriage.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by nitehawk214 on Friday March 11 2016, @05:28PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday March 11 2016, @05:28PM (#317085)

      What if by not posing on this site ever again you encourage someone to become the next Einstein and discover FTL travel?

      EVEN IF THERE IS A 1% CHANCE YOU MUST BELIEVE IT IS TRUE!

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @08:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @08:14AM (#317303)

      I got 3 replies to the post.
      None of which showed any disagreement with the "Fucking righteousness" part of it.
      It must be that the whole SN agreed with it! What a harmonious community!!

      (grin)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ledow on Friday March 11 2016, @04:43PM

    by ledow (5567) on Friday March 11 2016, @04:43PM (#317065) Homepage

    You should have spoken up before sperm donation, infertility treatment, etc.

    And, let's be honest, a vasectomy is not something you NEED. It's something you choose to have. I'd rather have a million parents who CHOOSE to have a child having them (even if that means transplants and treatments) than one who chooses NOT to being forced, or unable to find assistance in stopping it, to have one.

    Hence we should speak out against anti-abortion, anti-contraception, forced marriage, etc. too.

    But a womb transplant? No worse than any other infertility treatment.

    I'd much rather we spent any time arguing against that on getting rid of parents who should never have had children in the first place.

    This is also my answer for people who foster, adopt, or have children in homosexual relationships. You're almost saying "How dare they desire to look after a child so much that they undergo radical and dangerous medical procedures to do so?" I'd rather have them than some kid who sleeps around or some rape victim being forced (socially or legally) to have a baby they don't want, or some drug addict having babies because they were high and don't remember the conception, or they might get child benefits for it.

  • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Friday March 11 2016, @05:16PM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Friday March 11 2016, @05:16PM (#317077)

    Imho, this is an unethical medical procedure.

    Not to mention the possibility of necessarily exposing any pregnancy to all those immunosuppressant drugs. I'm sure they're not all "Category A" [drugs.com]. It's one thing to see if something can be done. But being able to do something is not necessarily a good enough reason to do it. Once we can grow or print a uterus from stem cells and perform what would essentially be an autograft - with minimal rejection possibility - this procedure would become viable. As it is, however, I think there's a certain lack of forward thinking that went into the process.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @09:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11 2016, @09:04PM (#317159)

      Some women have to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent their immune system from killing their babies. Unless the baby is a result of multiple inbreeding events, it will be foreign to the mother.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday March 11 2016, @09:13PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Friday March 11 2016, @09:13PM (#317168)

      Regardless of how you get your uterus, the part that worries me is that a pregnancy massively stretches the uterus. And it'd better remain perfectly connected to all the nutrient sources as it crushes everything around it until it stretches a woman's waist to a few times the original size. And it gets kicked around from the inside, then has to massively contract (correctly) to eject its contents (though there's a bypass for that one).

      There's a million ways a pregnancy can go wrong (when in med school, my sister always joked she wondered how any babies are born healthy at all, given the known stats and the unknown factors).
      Having a pregnancy inside a uterus that some human did a best-effort at connecting sounds absolutely friggin' nuts!!!!!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @12:02AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 12 2016, @12:02AM (#317227)

        From TFS:

        Nine uterus transplants have taken place in Sweden, resulting in 5 pregnancies and 4 births.

        It sounds "absolutely friggin' nuts!", but that is one of the amazing things about modern medicine.

  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday March 11 2016, @07:45PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday March 11 2016, @07:45PM (#317128) Journal

    ...living in a uterus that could be rejected at any time...
     
    I don't think organ transplants work like that. There's an initial risk that the immune system reject an organ transplant but once it's been assimilated that risk goes away.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Dunbal on Friday March 11 2016, @09:01PM

      by Dunbal (3515) on Friday March 11 2016, @09:01PM (#317156)

      I don't think organ transplants work like that.

      Yes they do. And I'll use my authority as a doctor to state that. Rejection can be acute, hyperacute or chronic. You can also have the host rejecting the graft (the uterus) OR you can have the graft reject the host, although for obvious reasons this is more common in blood/bone marrow transplants. But organs contain immune-type cells as part of their make up and they can start to react against the host. There is a much higher risk of any rejection initially, but you're dealing with the immune system. For reasons that are not 100% clear yet, it can become suddenly triggered against a particular antigen at any time, just like you can become suddenly allergic to something at any time. Most people when asked "are you allergic to peanuts (for example)" answer incorrectly by saying "no, I've had peanuts with no problems". One of the necessary conditions for allergy is that you have to have been exposed to the allergen at some point in your life. The technically correct answer would be "I haven't had a problem with peanuts so far"... There are the exceptions (gut bacteria can get up to mischief sometimes) but they're not the norm.

      Anyway that's why transplant recipients are kept on medication that depresses the immune response for the rest of their lives. This medication does it's job - depressing the immune system, which means that transplant recipients need to be monitored carefully and regularly for the rest of their lives, since they can get infections much faster and that are much more severe than the average person.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday March 11 2016, @10:28PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday March 11 2016, @10:28PM (#317205) Journal

    unethical

    Ethics are for pansies. If you can afford to pay, you should be able to get the therapy/surgery you want.

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