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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

New Publication: «Expanding the ethical debate on human artificial placenta trials»

Artificial Placentas (APs) are groundbreaking technologies designed to mimic the human placenta, offering a lifeline for extremely preterm infants. However, as we move towards human trials, several critical ethical considerations arise.

In our latest Topic Piece, Daniel Pizzolato and Alice Cavolo outline key issues that need further exploration:

1️⃣ Enhanced Counselling: Trial information and (non)treatment counselling require specialized training and the creation of bespoke decision aids to support parents' decision-making.

2️⃣ Stakeholder Involvement: Engaging parents, clinicians, researchers, and the broader society is essential. Their insights can help shape decision aids, highlight overlooked issues, and guide discussions on subsidizing AP trials and implementation.

3️⃣ Cost-Benefit Analysis: A thorough assessment of the technology's costs and benefits is crucial to understand its financial and societal impact.

The journey towards implementing APs is complex but promising. By addressing these ethical challenges head-on, we can pave the way for safer and more effective neonatal care.