What is a good enough reason for a womb transplant?

Another chapter in the Reproductive Revolution. An Indian woman has given birth to a child gestated in her mother’s transplanted uterus. Meenakashi Walan, 28, and her husband, Hitesh Bhai, 30, from Gujarat, welcomed a daughter conceived with IVF nearly a year and a half after the transplant.

Births from “borrowed wombs” are not common but are no longer the stuff of headlines. What sets Ms Walan’s pregnancy apart, according to the Daily Mail, is the reason why she needed a uterus transplant. Hers had been damaged after a miscarriage and two abortions.

The couple conceived their first child naturally… MORE





Iran promises the lash for unconventional cosmetic surgery

Iran could punish cosmetic surgeons and their patients over eccentric cosmetic surgery procedures. Prison sentences ranging from ten days to two months or 74 lashes could be imposed for procedures known as “cat eye” and “donkey ear”.

A spokesman for the judicial and legal committee of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Hassan Norouzi, said that the unconventional procedures fit article 638 of the Islamic criminal law and are considered a “criminal act”.

Iran is a cosmetic surgery hotspot. A 2015 study by the Rhinology Research Society of Iran and Johns Hopkins University found there are seven times more “nose jobs” per… MORE





Is solitary confinement ‘cruel and unusual’?

About 80,000 Americans are incarcerated in solitary confinement on any given day, a practice that has been deemed cruel and unusual punishment by the United Nations Committee on Torture. Those in solitary confinement typically have no physical contact and little interaction with others. This extreme isolation can be damaging and may cause or worsen depression, anxiety, and other mental illness.

A roundtable including a prisoner held in solitary for 29 years explored the psychological and neurobiological burdens of solitary confinement at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Robert King was held in solitary in… MORE





British hospital turned off life support of new-born without parents’ consent

Sian Hill and James Towers / Caters News Agency, via The Sun

A British couple has won a court battle with a National Health Service trust over the death of their new-born baby in 2012. They alleged that staff at Darlington Memorial Hospital turned off the child’s life support without consultation with or consent of the parents. Only after their daughter Ivy had died were they able to see her.

Sian Hill, 26, and her partner James Towers, 29, discovered the true story behind the death months later when reading a pathologist’s report. After years of… MORE





US company offers IVF risk test for low intelligence

An American genomics company is negotiating with IVF clinics to provide a risk test for embryos with intellectual disability. Genomic Predictions claims that it can offer prospective parents a risk profile for a range of conditions, like breast cancer, diabetes and low intelligence, which are caused by the interaction of several genes.

Nathan Treff, a co-founder of the company, told The Times (London) that this is an extension of screening that currently exists for conditions such as Down’s syndrome. “Chromosomal abnormalities are already evaluated,” he said. “For complex disorders, though, we have to evaluate the entire genome in… MORE





Assessing the financial side of egg-freezing

Is egg freezing for social reasons cost-effective? An Israeli IVF specialist argues in Reproductive Biomedicine Online that while egg freezing is here to stay, few patients and doctors are asking hard questions about its cost, especially in the face of demands that governments support large-scale “fertility preservation” programmes.

Zion Ben-Rafael says that research suggests that social egg freezing is “only cost-effective with a usage rate of 50% or over, and when getting married is not set as a condition”. However, recent studies have found that the rate of using frozen eggs is between 3.1 and 9.3%. This prices the… MORE





Ohio House passes fetal heartbeat abortion bill

The Ohio House of Representatives this week passed an abortion bill that would ban terminations after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The state’s Republican dominated House voted 65-30 in favour of the proposed law, and a similar result is expected in the senate later this year.

The bill would make performing an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison or a $2500 fine.

The state’s governor-elect Mike DeWine is in favour of the legislation; outgoing governor John Kasich… MORE





Euthanasia legislation to be introduced in WA in 2019

The government of Western Australia plans to introduce euthanasia legislation next year, according to an announcement this week by State Health Minister Roger Cook.

Mr Cook said that the government plans to introduce a bill into parliament in the second half of 2019, and that it has appointed an expert panel to help draft the bill.

Mr Cook said the bill “will provide those individuals who are experiencing grievous and irremediable suffering associated with advanced and progressive terminal conditions with an additional choice.”

In August a parliamentary committee investigating… MORE





Women arrested in Cambodia surrogacy crackdown

The crackdown on commercial surrogacy continued in Cambodia this week with a major court charging 18 people for violating laws against surrogate births.

A spokesman for Phnom Penh Municipal Court said that 11 surrogate mothers and four other people had been charged with surrogacy and human trafficking. Three more people were charged with conspiracy but did not appear.

The legal proceedings come in the wake of the arrest 32 pregnant Cambodian women in Phnom Penh in June, who allegedly were carrying babies for clients in China.

Chou Bun Eng,… MORE





Michelle Obama opens up about her IVF children

Former US First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed that her two children were conceived by IVF in a new memoir, Becoming, that is due for release on Tuesday.

Mrs Obama writes that she sought IVF following a miscarriage 20 years ago. The former first lady said realized that "the biological clock is real" and that "egg production is limited", which made her decide to seek in-vitro fertilisation.

According to The Association Press, who obtained an advanced copy of the book, Mrs Obama also describes the strain on her marriage when her husband Barack… MORE




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