Thanks to that miracle which is modern medicine, filled with wacky, generous surgeons always ready to provide organs to the needy, having a baby may be easier for some women. Along with hearts, lungs, kidneys, and (recently thanks to vain French doctors) faces, a doctor at New York Downtown Hospital is on his way to providing uterus transplants to hopeful mommies-to-be who lack their own.
Although still early in development (the hospital's only just now received ethics board approval) little is actually know about the specifics, such as would we one day check off uterus on our organ donor cards or would men be allowed to receive the transplant (with the requisite hormones) and carry a baby to term? What we do know is that the uteruses would come from dead patients and would be removed after use to avoid the need for long term immunosupressive drugs which are currently used to prevent organ rejection. Oh and the procedure would cost a cool half a million.
Though the hospital conducted a six-month experiment with the New York Organ Donor Network ("nine out of 150 families agreed and eight wombs were successfully removed"), the Downtown Hospital said that transplants aren't coming any time soon and doesn't want women who may have lost their uteruses due to cancer and other diseases to get their hopes up. Still, we can see the controversy gestating already.
Photograph of Drs. Jeanetta Stega and Giuseppe Del Priore, who are heading the project, by Gary He/AP