It’s not at all clear, for starters, that the fetus has a good chance of surviving inside the womb or of flourishing outside of it. In a study of a few dozen cases of continued pregnancies inside brain-dead women, only one of the five fetuses that were between 13 and 15 weeks at the time of the mother’s brain death was successfully delivered — by cesarean section — and kept alive, though the study tracked the boy only until 11 months after his birth.
I talked last week with two prominent obstetricians, both of whom said that it was impossible, until relatively late in a pregnancy, to get any real sense of how much neurological damage a fetus may have already suffered as a result of a maternal embolism and of any oxygen deprivation that occurred. They also said that a pregnancy dependent on artificial organ maintenance entails an array of dangers to the fetus beyond ordinary ones, including the mother’s susceptibility to infections.
Blogs I Follow
- Great story on gender equality (er, lack thereof) in professional labor markets in Japan
- More annals of correlations wrongly attributed as causation: The more equal women and men are, the less they want the same things
- In happened sooner than I thought: Baobab beer in microbrewery in New Jersey
- Building housing in San Jose
- Readings on immigration issues in the United States
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