Brain-Dead Women Should Be Used As Surrogates, Report Suggests

Pregnancy and childbirth come with a laundry list of health risks and sacrifices. With these risks comes the fact that many women cannot physically or safely conceive. A new report suggests a somewhat taboo solution — utilizing brain dead women as surrogates.

A recent report published by the Journal of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics suggests that brain-dead individuals should be used as surrogates. It comes from Professor Anna Smajdor from the University of Oslo, Norway, who says it would be possible for brain-dead women to carry through pregnancy despite the possibility of it being a disturbing project.

Snajdor says whole body gestational donation (WBGD), or surrogacy, should be an option for those who do not want to go through pregnancy or risk their bodies. The process may be discomforting, but "most of the ethical problems that might be associated with it apply equally to other areas of medical and/or reproductive practice."

She also compared it to the process of organ donation. However Smajor wasn't the first to come up with this idea. It was first sparked back in 2000 by an Israeli researcher, Rosalie Ber.

As pregnancy and labor can bring severe health issues, even in opulent environments with prevalent healthcare, Smajdor says shifting the risks to those who won’t be affected by them should be an option. "Whole body gestational donation offers an alternative means of gestation for prospective parents who wish to have children but cannot, or prefer not to, gestate," said the report. "It seems plausible that some people would be prepared to consider donating their whole bodies for gestational purposes just as some people donate parts of their bodies for organ donation."

Smajdor argues that just like organ donation, women could give consent prior to having their bodies be used as surrogates. "Of course, this proposal may seem shocking to some people," she shared. "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. What I put forward here can be viewed as a thought experiment on one hand. But if we regard WBGD as being clearly outrageous, this suggests we have some uncomfortable questions to answer about the future of cadaveric organ donation."

Smajdor also noted that brain-dead men may have the chance to gestate, creating a larger donor pool.

She concluded: "What I put forward here can be viewed as a thought experiment on one hand. But if we regard WBGD as being clearly outrageous, this suggests we have some uncomfortable questions to answer about the future of cadaveric organ donation. On the other hand, if WBGD is viewed as a straightforward means of facilitating safer reproduction, and avoiding the moral problems of surrogacy, we should be ready to embrace it as a logical and beneficial extension of activities that we already treat as being morally unproblematic."

Controversy behind the report

Smajdor's concept of whole-body gestational donation caused some controversy on the Internet, as it disturbed many individuals about using brain-dead women as items for reproduction. Especially with women's rights being stripped due to the Alabama ruling over IVF and the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the state of autonomy is at risk.

"Donating organs is not the same as being kept alive by machines to carry babies. This would normalize equating women’s bodies with incubators, an existence even less dignified than that of farm animals. It’s bad for society to go in this direction and terrible for women," tweeted Mara Brooks, a Heavy Sports copyeditor and author at HuffPost.

Some even compared it to a modern day Handmaid's Tale.

@karpoozy #greenscreen #norway #norwaytiktok🇳🇴 #wtf #science #surrogate #surrogacy #fyp #foryou #fypシ #excuseme #pregnant #pregnancy #news #newstory #medical #medicaltiktok #wtf ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy refers to the process of carrying a baby for another person or couple. There are two types of surrogacy, including full and partial surrogacy. Full surrogacy is the process when there is no genetic link between the baby and the surrogate. Partial surrogacy, often referred to as straight or traditional, requires using the surrogate's egg.

Surrogacy is often used when one has difficulty getting pregnant and giving birth, with complications such as reoccurring pregnancy loss, womb absence, and more. It is also an option for male same-sex couples who want to start a family.

While Smajdor isn't gaining many fans for brain dead women being used as surrogacy, scientists may have a different opinion. Only time will tell.

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prefix 1 year ago
Absolutely not! Is that how neglectful of human life we've become. Any woman stupid enough to sign up for this "sells" the very essence of womanhood.
prefix 1 year ago
Absolutely not. This is NOT okay in ANY WAY. Those women cannot provide consent. They are not for our "use" in any way! They are human beings who may not have wanted to even carry children while they were awake! Imagine being forced to do something you never wanted to do while asleep? Focus on other methods. This is abhorrent. If this happened to me, I'd make sure I'd haunt the heck out of everyone involved.
prefix 1 year ago
This idea is like an episode from Blacklist and is terrifying.
prefix 1 year ago
I think if someone agrees to this, the same as agreeing to be an organ donor, then I do not see a problem with it. Just my opinion.
prefix 1 year ago
Interesting thought. As a 3rd time gestational surrogate going through the process again, there is language already written into the contract that I am agreeing to go on life support if it's an option if I am in some accident that would otherwise kill me, until the baby is born. This being that I'm already pregnant with the surrogate baby, I'd be willing to go on life support to give the baby a chance to make it to viable term.
Not sure how I'd feel about donating my body to go on life support for the sole purpose of some intended parent using me to grow their baby for 9 months. It also brings up the possibility of using my body to produce breast milk for that baby's consumption (or other babies?)
It's all something to think about.
prefix 1 year ago
Oh hell NO!!!!
prefix 1 year ago
Are you for real right now?
How does this even work?
A brain dead body requires a ventilator, drugs for the heart, IV fluids and more to be kept alive. And even with all that the body can only be maintained for a short time once the brain stops functioning.
Can a brain dead body even be maintained for the 10 months required for a full term pregnancy?
Then what? Cut the baby out and then pull the plug on the life support?
I support organ donation and surrogate pregnancy, but this sounds dangerous on so many levels.
With the donor body being brain dead if something happens it could be hours, days, or weeks before anyone realizes the fetus is in trouble or has died.
And keeping a body “alive” for 10 to 12 months is expensive.
This is insane!!
Yo momma
prefix 1 year ago
Is this a joke? How repulsive and disgusting. You have no right to a womens body, some of you are so disgusting!!! Some people have been "brain dead" and still woke up. You have no idea if they truly feel pain and some will.. This is a violation to humanity and it's a moral violation. How disgusting!!!
prefix 1 year ago
Yeah we definitely should not do this. This is messed up on so many levels.
prefix 1 year ago
I think artificial embryos/wombs should definitely be the focus, surrogacy is overall rare and impractical for anything other than very small groups, and I feel that even though using brain-dead women, with their previous consent is ethical like organ donors, it may bring a rise to purposeful medical negligence in order to increase the amount of surrogates available, for profit. It's not an opportunity I would trust even doctors to elude. Artificial wombs will revolutionize society and bring people to the next level of evolution, that should be the focus and achieving it could prevent the inevitable Behavioral Sink that society is headed for.
prefix 1 year ago
Consent is a thing, to get consent you need to be sure you have it, if a person changes their mind you can’t do it because you don’t have their consent, asking someone consent while their awake then ducking them when their asleep isn’t allowed, why should we be allowed to do it to people who will never wake up? That’s messed up and I thought doctors had to take oaths to not hurt anyon , sexual assault is hurting people, I’m not being disrespectful I’m being informative because you need to be informed of how f* up this is.
prefix 1 year ago