In 100 Years, Artificial Wombs Will Make Pregnancy Look Barbaric
For millennia, mankind ran after his food, hunting wild beasts with sharp sticks to put dinner on the table. Whether we ate or starved depended on our ability to kill. This way of life, a life of survival, governed every hour of our existence. The hunt dictated where we would live and what we would do with our time. But as time went on, our way of life began to change. We discovered agriculture. We began to bury seeds that would grow into plants and grains. Suddenly, we were able to survive without running after wild animals so often. Now, we could hunker down and stay in one place, establishing the first traces of civilization as we know it.
My point? The only constant is change.
Mankind was forever changed by the agricultural revolution, then the industrial revolution. Now, in the midst of a technological revolution, many more changes are taking place. Perhaps no sector has seen more progress than the medical industry, especially when it comes to childbirth.
The Artificial Womb
Artificial wombs are already under development. As information technology improves at an accelerating rate, so does the rate of innovation. Everyday we understand more about how developing embryos grow at a cellular level. Once scientists know exactly how an embryo grows, they can identify the ingredients necessary to spur the development of life. With this knowledge, scientists and biological engineers can create an artificial womb will the ability to support a fetus.
Scientists have been growing cells in labs for decades, including "test tube babies," which were first experimented with in 1977. Today, it's just a matter of closing the gap between fertilization and early cell growth.
The Perils of Pregnancy
Reproduction is the key to mankind's continued existence, but the current method of childbirth, which has remained unchanged for thousands of years, frequently results in the death of the mother or the baby. Fortunately, medical science has continually advanced, reducing the frequency of maternal deaths to only handful of women per 100,000. Still, childbirth requires prolonged and painful labor, and can result in:
- Premature birth
- Psychological trauma
- Cesarean section (C-section)
- Infection can often result from bleeding
- Vaginal tearing
- Hemorrhage (which can result in death and often does in third world countries)
Additionally, before the birth of the child, pregnancy can cause everything from morning sickness to violent mood swings. The pregnant woman's bodily systems must run at maximum capacity, which can be extremely harmful.
Artificial Wombs Will Make Childbirth Better
Given that pregnancy consists of nine months of torture, and that childbirth may result in the death of either the mother or the child, why not carry a child to term under the best environment possible, where the fetus will be monitored around the clock and have instant access to medical attention?
We've changed the way we live and the way we die. Now it's time to change the way we are born.
Would you consider bringing your child to term outside of a human womb?
What Is an Artificial Womb? (Video)
© 2014 Andrew Smith