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The ethics of ectogenesis‐aided foetal treatment

Seppe Segers (UGent) , Guido Pennings (UGent) and Heidi Mertes (UGent)
(2020) BIOETHICS. 34(4). p.364-370
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Abstract
In this paper, we aim to stimulate ethical debate about the morally relevant connection between ectogenesis and the foetus as a potential beneficiary of treatment. Ectogenesis could facilitate foetal interventions by treating the foetus independently of the pregnant woman and provide easier access to the foetus if interventions are required. The moral relevance hereof derives from the observation that, together with other developments in genetic technology and prenatal treatment, this may catalyse the allocation of a patient status to the foetus. The topic of foetal medicine is of growing interest to clinicians, and it also deserves due attention from an ethical perspective. To the extent that these developments contribute to the allocation of a patient status to the foetus (and to its respective interests for medical treatment), normative questions arise about how moral responsibilities towards foetal interests should be balanced against the interests of the pregnant woman. We conclude that, even if ectogenesis could facilitate foetal therapy, it is important to remain sensitive to the fact that it would not circumvent the key ethical concerns that come with in utero foetal treatment and that it may even exacerbate potential conflicts between directive treatment recommendations and the pregnant woman's autonomous decision to the contrary.
Keywords
Philosophy, Health Policy, Health(social science), autonomy, ectogenesis, foetal patient, foetal surgery, foetal treatment, FETUS, PATIENT, DIAGNOSIS, ABORTION, CHILD

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MLA
Segers, Seppe, et al. “The Ethics of Ectogenesis‐aided Foetal Treatment.” BIOETHICS, vol. 34, no. 4, 2020, pp. 364–70, doi:10.1111/bioe.12715.
APA
Segers, S., Pennings, G., & Mertes, H. (2020). The ethics of ectogenesis‐aided foetal treatment. BIOETHICS, 34(4), 364–370. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12715
Chicago author-date
Segers, Seppe, Guido Pennings, and Heidi Mertes. 2020. “The Ethics of Ectogenesis‐aided Foetal Treatment.” BIOETHICS 34 (4): 364–70. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12715.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Segers, Seppe, Guido Pennings, and Heidi Mertes. 2020. “The Ethics of Ectogenesis‐aided Foetal Treatment.” BIOETHICS 34 (4): 364–370. doi:10.1111/bioe.12715.
Vancouver
1.
Segers S, Pennings G, Mertes H. The ethics of ectogenesis‐aided foetal treatment. BIOETHICS. 2020;34(4):364–70.
IEEE
[1]
S. Segers, G. Pennings, and H. Mertes, “The ethics of ectogenesis‐aided foetal treatment,” BIOETHICS, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 364–370, 2020.
@article{8658993,
  abstract     = {{In this paper, we aim to stimulate ethical debate about the morally relevant connection between ectogenesis and the foetus as a potential beneficiary of treatment. Ectogenesis could facilitate foetal interventions by treating the foetus independently of the pregnant woman and provide easier access to the foetus if interventions are required. The moral relevance hereof derives from the observation that, together with other developments in genetic technology and prenatal treatment, this may catalyse the allocation of a patient status to the foetus. The topic of foetal medicine is of growing interest to clinicians, and it also deserves due attention from an ethical perspective. To the extent that these developments contribute to the allocation of a patient status to the foetus (and to its respective interests for medical treatment), normative questions arise about how moral responsibilities towards foetal interests should be balanced against the interests of the pregnant woman. We conclude that, even if ectogenesis could facilitate foetal therapy, it is important to remain sensitive to the fact that it would not circumvent the key ethical concerns that come with in utero foetal treatment and that it may even exacerbate potential conflicts between directive treatment recommendations and the pregnant woman's autonomous decision to the contrary.}},
  author       = {{Segers, Seppe and Pennings, Guido and Mertes, Heidi}},
  issn         = {{0269-9702}},
  journal      = {{BIOETHICS}},
  keywords     = {{Philosophy,Health Policy,Health(social science),autonomy,ectogenesis,foetal patient,foetal surgery,foetal treatment,FETUS,PATIENT,DIAGNOSIS,ABORTION,CHILD}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{364--370}},
  title        = {{The ethics of ectogenesis‐aided foetal treatment}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12715}},
  volume       = {{34}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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