Artificial womb technology is one of the visions of science in the world that allow the practice of children to be manufactured and grown outside their mother's womb. The artificial womb is also referred to as the exogenesis, and it is something that is slowly becoming a reality in society. Artificial womb practices are divided into two parts, such as partial and full artificial womb. Partial exogenesis involves the removal of the female fetus and gestating it in an artificial womb. Full artificial womb practices occur where gestation of the embryo takes place starting from the time of conception until birth. Both the artificial womb practices have been something in question over ethical consideration since it is believed to have effected abortion rights as well as the matter on how far it can go beyond the proper aims of medicine, among others. Artificial womb also has raised questions on religious ethics as well as the parental rights obligations in society. A literature overview of the artificial womb and the argument against the topic are what the discussion is going to cover.
The artificial womb, in some cases, is something that is believed that to assist women, especially those with the damaged uterus. Through the practice of artificial womb, women with damaged uterus could be able to have children despite the inability to do on their own. Artificial womb also acts as an incubator for preterm babies such as those born before they reach their 24 weeks after gestation. Therefore, the practice of artificial womb will help to reduce the fetal mortality and the occurrence of morbidity that comes out as a result of premature birth.
In literature analysis on artificial womb application, Judith J. Thomson's violinist analogy discusses the women's rights on the life withdrawal of the fetus to terminate the pregnancy regardless of the granted moral status (Hunter, 2017). Thomson protects the fetus right from being either miscarriage through abortion or removing the life support, machines in the incubator. Thomson also supports the idea of exogenesis as he argues that the only method that can be used to protect abortion. The literature on exogenesis also covers the economy of the individuals that will be able to afford the technique. Based on the economy, the exogenesis could be best used to protect abortion if all the people could be able to reach the high expenses of the process.
Some scholars also supported the practice for the right to the death of the fetus. The plausible idea by Christine Overall is that in western society, people have diversified reasons over either if they are going to have children or not (Coleman, 2017). The justification for having children is something that has different answers based on the people's traditions, beliefs, and the laws of the country. Therefore, according to Christine Overall, the careful justifications, as well as the reasons not to have children, need to be clear whereby the intention to have children is appearing to be her support part in her research. Also, there are ethical repercussions based on ethical concerns of childbearing as well as the intellectual belief on neonaticide and the late-term abortions that have been practiced by individuals.
The practices of exogenesis have both the positive and the negative comments being made by individual researchers on peer-reviewed articles. Women will find the method of artificial womb beneficial based on their financial stability. Some will continue to gestate their children by the use of the older fashioned even though there is a choice, while those with tons of money will prefer the application of ontogenesis since it is deemed to be simple and with low risk of problems associated with births. Ontogenesis also will help reduce surrogacy in mothers as well as allows for gender equality in society.
There is also an argument against artificial womb practices such as; artificial womb destroys the bond that exists between the mother and children. The disruptions between the mother her children are affected by the medical manipulation. Also, the children born with a healthy human womb will have no difference with the children's molded-in machines, giving it a reason not to be supported by some country's laws such as Canada. Children developed under the mother's womb have innate connections with their mother and attached, and it is also good since it is nature. It means that acceptance of artificial womb will lead to giving birth to creatures like things opening up all the kind of tyrannies that lacks social controls as well as the lack of autonomy, something that should not be accepted in the society.
There are ethical principles that guide the application of an artificial womb to protect both the unborn and the mother from the violation. Since the practice of artificial womb will lead to abortion. The unborn have the right to live; therefore, terminating pregnancy creates conflicts between the two persons, the right of the child in the womb and the right of the mother (Murray & Holmes, 2013). The principle of the right to life, therefore, protects the life of the unborn, either the developed in the womb or the once preserved in the artificial womb.
The health principle on informed decisions making by the individuals about their treatment. The artificial womb is a health phenomenon that is being developed to be applied in humanity. The application of artificial womb depends on individual willingness since it is still not a widespread invention. Due to the desire to practice the principle of informed decision making has helped most of the people with different beliefs about artificial womb to remain with their traditional values and spiritual beliefs.
In my own opinion about the ethical justifications concerning artificial womb practices, I will oppose the practice of artificial womb (Kendal, 2017). This is because the process of the artificial womb is costly, making the program to be based on the process of serving all humans since it will be only for rich people. Therefore, it will take long before it is equally distributed among the people. Also, accepting the artificial womb technology in society will affect the relationship between the mother to the child since there will be no natural bond that connects them.
In my opinion on the moral rights that outlines the individual right to have children or not are not justified since children are the gift from God, and terminating their development will have negative impacts on the future of the world. Also, the practice of remaining childless either from abortion or individual choice acts as a personal egoism and selfishness. In the morality of procreation, the individuals should have right on their procreators since it will result in the increase of abortion as well as the termination of the artificial womb process before maturity, depending on the individual right since it will be against humanity.
To protect the life of the fetus, artificial womb needs to be discouraged as it can easily pave the way for abortion practices since the attachment between the mother and the infant are not secondary. Due to the secondary connection, an individual can easily change the mind and inform the doctor to terminate the machine gestation without knowing that it is the same as abortion. Therefore, ethics on incubation, as well as principles, should focus on safe delivery other than promoting a system of the artificial womb that has no difference with human gestation.
The discussion covers the artificial womb, which is relevant to artificial bioethics. The artificial womb has been defined as a process in which the fetus is manufactured and grown outside their mother's womb. In the process of analyzing the artificial womb literature, scholars gave out different opinions. Even though the majority of them gave positive comments about the process, some have negative views. Surrogacy has been identified as a problem that can be solved by artificial womb technology. On the negative side, artificial womb technology may increase the chance s of abortion practices, which is against the medical ethics and principles identified in the discussion. Finally, in my own opinion, artificial womb practices have adverse effects in society as well as creating individual problems since it is against the unwritten laws as well as interfering with the biblical concept of humanity.
Coleman, S. (2017). Abortion, Artificial womb, and the Foetus as Person. The Ethics of Artificial Uteruses, 57-83. doi:10.4324/9781351146807-5
Hunter, D. (2017). Bad Science Equals Poor, Not Necessarily Bad, Ethics. Ethics, Law and Society, 61-70. doi:10.4324/9781315094311-6
Kendal, E. (2017). The Perfect Womb: Promoting Equality of (Fetal) Opportunity. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 14(2), 185-194. doi:10.1007/s11673-017-9775-z
Murray, D. S., & Holmes, P. D. (2013). Critical Interventions in the Ethics of Healthcare: Challenging the Principle of Autonomy in Bioethics. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing.
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