Monday, June 18, 2012

A market in fetal organs?

[Today's post is written by Jameson Graber, originally posted on his blog, "I think, therefore I blog." Post reprinted with permission.] 

Here's a story that escaped me until just today:
Professor Richard Gardner of Oxford University, a renowned expert on human reproduction and an advisor to Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, recently raised the prospect of using organs from aborted fetuses for transplantation into adults. This possibility offers the potential to save or improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of patients in desperate need of such organs throughout the world, especially the more than 70,000 in the United States waiting for kidneys.

The date of this story is 2009. I suspect this idea has been floating around for much longer than that.  

Pregnancy is, essentially, a way to produce an endless supply of organs to be given to those in need:
The first striking of fetal organs is that their supply, for all practical purposes, is unlimited. Unlike living kidney donors, who must then advance through life with only one functioning kidney, pregnant women who provide fetal kidneys could do so repeatedly without incurring the medical consequences of adult organ loss. When overseen by properly-trained physicians, abortion is an extremely safe procedure -- even safer than delivering an infant at term. Since far more women have legal abortions each year in the United States than would be required to clear organ wait-lists, if only a small percentage of those women could be persuaded to carry their fetuses to the necessary point of development for transplantation, society might realize significant public health benefits. The government could even step into the marketplace itself to purchase fetal organs for patients on Medicare and Medicaid, ensuring that low-income individuals had equal access to such organs while keeping the "asking price" elevated. [emphasis added]

It's for the greater good, after all. And really, if we didn't have to deal with those clumsy, traditional wombs, we could just have little human farms all of over the place, giving us literally infinite access to replacement body parts:
Someday, if we are fortunate, scientific research may make possible farms of artificial "wombs" breeding fetuses for their organs...

All of this technology promises us the gift of long life, of reduced pain and discomfort, of increased health and "well-being." The more we come to measure the value of life in terms of these things, the more we cheapen the inherent value of life. That is, we view human beings as means to an end, presumably our ends, but more likely ends which have been suggested to us by the amazing force of cultural cohesion and advertising.

Don't you want to live longer? Well do we have an offer for you!

Just make sure you understand what these guys are selling.


Blessing said...

Here is some more info. to explore:

CCKline said...

I am just about as pro-choice as they come, but this is DISGUSTING! The idea is completely repulsive.

Anonymous said...

This is terrifying. Creating people just to kill them and use their bodies. Its something out of science fiction.

Kara said...

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Blessing said...

CCKline, the unfortunate truth is that no matter how the media candy coats the abortion industry, it truly is a dark, evil industry.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. i.e. did you know that clinics are not regulated as ambulatory surgery? Which means that they don't have to adhere to the same standards as any other surgical center. Because of this we find that the abortionists are operating shoddy practices. Everything from illegal dumping, biohazard infractions, violations of HIPPA laws, non-licensed/certified staff, improper dosing/administration of meds, unsanitary conditions and substandard equipment (not having equipment to clear the airway-would have to use the vacuum canister and cannula to suction!)and illegal abortions.

Anonymous said...

Philip K. Dick wrote many Science Fiction novels and short stories. One of his most horrifying works is a short story called 'The Pre-Persons'. It offers a chilling look at a future USA that embraces abortion on demand. It might not be that far in the future.

Brown Bricklayer said...

I was pro choice but then I read this article and decided that the claims made by the article invalided everything I used to believe in. Now I've joined a southern baptist church and I'm pushing for abstinence only sex education in my local school district. Furthermore, I'm lobbying the my congressman to oppose federal funding for stem cell research. Thanks, secular prolife.

Anonymous said...

Why? The only difference here is that the fetal organs would be given to transplant patients rather than discarded as medical waste. So what makes this repulsive but tossing them in the trash acceptable? Not trying to be rude I just honestly want to know why you seem to have a problem with this but not abortion.