To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Outrage as professor suggests brain dead women could be used as surrogates

Outrage as professor suggests brain dead women could be used as surrogates

Anna Smajdor has come in for criticism after suggesting brain dead women would make ideal surrogates

A professor has caused outrage after suggesting brain dead women could be used for surrogate pregnancies.

In a study published a few month's ago, Anna Smajdor, from the University of Oslo, claimed that women who were deemed to be dead could provide the perfect host for carrying children to term.

Someone is determined to be medically brain dead when the brain stem is damaged, meaning that a person is no longer able to breathe on their own.

They are then legally pronounced dead as there is no possibility of recovery or survival without medical intervention.

This is not the same as someone being in a vegetative state, which is recoverable in some cases, and during which a person can have some level of consciousness.

Professor Anna Smajdor has been criticised for suggesting brain dead women should be used as surrogates.
Professor Anna Smajdor/Wordpress

While she understood that idea, which she has called 'whole body gestational donation' (WBGD), might not gain many supporters, she believes it 'deserves serious consideration'.

Professor Smajdor saying in her research, which is available to read in the medical journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, that there is 'no obvious medical reason why initiating such pregnancies would not be possible'.

"Since we are happy to accept that organ donors are dead enough to donate, we should have no objections to WBGD on these grounds," she writes.

"WBGD donors are as dead as other donors – no more, no less.

"Since we are happy to prolong the somatic survival of already pregnant brain-dead women, to initiate pregnancy among eligible brain-dead donors should not trouble us unduly.

"Of course, this proposal may seem shocking to some people. Nevertheless, as I have shown, if we accept that our current approach to organ donation and reproductive medicine are sound, WBGD donation seems to follow relatively smoothly from procedures that we are already undertaking separately."

The professor believes it's a question that needs to be looked into further.
Aleksandr Davydov/Alamy

Rounding off her argument, Prof Smajdor says if people are wholly against the idea, then it raises 'uncomfortable questions to answer' about organ donation in general, which 'we already treat as being morally unproblematic'.

Unsurprisingly, the proposition of using brain dead women as hosts has not gone down with a lot of people.

The Colombian Medial College even had to issue an apology after publishing a Spanish translation of Prof Smajdor's paper.

Others were utterly outraged by her comments and suggested it was like something from a 'dystopian' nightmare.

"That’s the worst take I’ve ever heard from anyone, let alone a BIOETHICIST," said one. "Jeez, what a joke."

Another remarked: "Only in a woman-hating society, would using brain dead women as living wombs be up for discussion. This is how it starts, how it ends is legislators making this law."

Another added: "I just. I hate the world."

Tyla has contacted Prof Smajdor for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Joaquin Corbalan pastor/RooM the Agency/Alamy

Topics: Science, Health