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Ovary transplant sparks ethical concern from midwives

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The RCM has raised ethical concerns about the world’s first successful ovary transplant, which was reported last week by a US surgeon.

Dr Sherman Silber, an infertility specialist based in St Louis, announced he had transplanted a whole ovary from one identical twin to another, treating the recipient’s premature ovarian failure.

Following the transplant, the recipient twin resumed regular menstrual periods and became pregnant a year later, he told delegates at an American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in California.

But Mervi Jokinen, RCM practice and standards development advisor, said the college was concerned that such technology could be used to delay childbearing for women into their 40s.

‘Are the surgeons approaching this case to use technology and science as an intervention tool for societal control on the childbearing age for women,’ she said. ‘The RCM would prefer that surgeons were more committed to using advances in scientific technology to help women who are truly infertile and desperate to conceive.’

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