Advances in medical technology are of benefit to citizens around the world. They allow an improvement in the quality of life, increased lifespan and freedom from debilitating diseases and illnesses. While medical technology is often coming up with innovative techniques and equipment that people readily accept and applaud, there are at times controversial inventions too. None are more so than the artificial womb that is currently under development for use in Asia and across the world.
The artificial womb would allow an embryo to grow to infancy outside of the mother’s body. It is essentiallly a tank that contains amniotic fluid and regulates temperature and growth through the nine month gestation period.
The controversy surrounding this technology has to do with the fear that it would allow for the growth of clones and the creation of genetically perfect individuals, thereby reducing the diversity that we currently find in the human race. It is also proposed to reduce a disconnect between the mother and child, which has the potential to influence everything about who that child would become.
While not without controversy, this technology certainly has benefits. The mother who is not capable of growing a child in her own body could now have children without the need for a surrogate. If it were used to create human like clones, perhaps those clones would provide life saving organs and genetic materials to the human population. It also might be easier to operate on a child with a heart defect or monitor the growth of a would be premie in such a tank.
The use of the artificial womb is not in our immediate future, but the technology continues to be discovered and worked on. In time, perhaps many of the concerns can be cleared up and this technology can provide a great benefit to the human population.