Regulating the 'Brave New World:' Ethico-Legal Implications of the Quest for Partial Ectogenesis

  • Elizabeth Romanis

Student thesis: Phd


This PhD thesis considers legal and ethical questions surrounding the development of artificial womb technologies. In 2017, scientists based in Philadelphia and in Western Australia / Japan announced the development of artificial womb prototypes that had been successfully able to partially gestate lamb foetuses delivered prematurely. While this technology has not yet been tested on human preterm neonates, scientists have continued to report positive results from animal testing, and it is hoped that their devices might soon revolutionise care for human preterm neonates. Conventional neonatal intensive care has proved to be one of the miracles of modern medicine; being able to aid the survival of neonates born increasingly premature. However, these technologies have limitations; neonatal intensive care often has serious short- and long-term health implications for those preterms that survive. Moreover, because neonatal intensive care is dependent on the neonate being able to withstand gas-based ventilation, neonates who are born without sufficiently formed lungs (usually
Date of Award31 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRebecca Bennett (Supervisor) & Alexandra Mullock (Supervisor)


  • Gestateling
  • Viability
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Ectogenesis
  • Ectogestation
  • Artificial Wombs
  • Birth

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