Amnioinfusion—experimental foetal therapy, which must be investigated in clinical trials



In an article published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology, bioethics and medical experts express their desire for a more in-depth investigation into ethical issues relating to "amnioinfusion"—experimental foetal therapy. They list ten key questions to be examined: the potential risks and benefits compared to alternatives, information for parents, consent, evaluation of results, fair access, conflicts of interest, impact on clinicians and institutions and long-term societal implications.

 

Amnioinfusion is considered for foetuses with two missing kidneys[1]—a deformity deemed to be fatal, because it leads to defective lung development. The procedure involves instilling a saline solution into the amniotic cavity to facilitate lung development in an attempt to keep the foetus alive and carry out dialysis at birth prior to kidney transplantation. The first child born using this technique in 2012 is in good health today. However, these methods can pose maternal risks and lead to premature birth.

 

Faced with this type of diagnosis, couples are offered an abortion or palliative care for the child once delivered, or even experimental procedures. As far as the article’s authors are concerned, these procedures must be classed as official clinical trials in order to validate and implement them on a wider basis.

 

[1] Bilateral renal genesis.


Sources: 

Medical press, Archana Nilaweera (14/12/2017)