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Abortion Procedure

I didn't find this with a Google search, so...
  (+4, -7)
(+4, -7)
  [vote for,

There doesn't seem to be a place in the HalfBakery to put abortion-specific Ideas. Please move this if I am mistaken (or if some such gets added).

Before I begin, let me say that I recognize that the topic is very controversial, and so anyone opposing abortion is likely to fishbone a described method for that reason alone, completely ignoring whether or not the method might work (or merely be half-baked). I could wish that that group of people refrain from such out-of-hand dismissal, but such wishes are hardly likely to be heeded, I know. So it goes (just wanted to get that out of my system)....

All right, on to the Idea. You may be aware that medical technology already includes slim fiber-optic "snakes" that can be inserted into the body to see Up Close and Personal what's going on in various places (like what does a heart valve look like from inside the bloodstream).

Let's take one of those snakes and add an extra-wide optical fiber, with a focussing lens. We may also have to add some extra remote-control wires to allow fairly precise movement and positioning of the business end of the "snake".

The gadget is inserted into the uterus through the normal passage to the outside world, and is manipulated to allow close examination of the fetus. Carefully the end of the "snake" is moved to just the right spot outside the amniotic sac.

The far end of the extra-wide optical fiber is connected to a laser. The frequency of this laser is chosen so that it can pass through the amniotic sac without cutting it. The width of the fiber also allows less-intense light to pass through the sac at the point where the lens is pressed up against the sac.

So, the "wide" laser beam passes through the amniotic sac without cutting it, and then converges while passing through the amniotic fluid (and of course the optical characteristics of the lens has to have by-design taken these factors into account).

The target of focus is the umbilical cord. The focussed laser beam cuts the cord -- and cauterizes the cut ends while doing that. This means that there will be no bleeding; one disadvantage of more-ordinary abortion procedures is that blood loss can threaten the woman's life.

The operation is now complete, and the "snake" is withdrawn. After a few days the woman's body realizes that the fetus has died and ejects it, just like a miscarriage.

Vernon, Sep 19 2005

Medical abortions http://www.ncbi.nlm...2814815&query_hl=16
This abstract gives the outcomes - a pretty good track record. [bungston, Sep 19 2005]

Medical abortions http://www.ncbi.nlm...7623901&query_hl=16
How they work. [bungston, Sep 19 2005]

Brain and spinal cord development http://home.iprimus...rainDevelopment.htm
As mentioned in an annotation. Search for "seventh month". [Vernon, Sep 21 2005]


       It'd be neat if uteri just had eject buttons.
daseva, Sep 19 2005

       ...and penisii uneject buttons.
bristolz, Sep 19 2005

       A miscarriage is very messy and not something you will be looking forward to. Do I understand correctly that you want to minimise the trauma an abortion? Better not try it this way then, as the rejection of the now dead embryo can still be very painfull and life threathening. Better do something about the trauma and the blood-loss afterwards, like flushing the uterus with a bloodclotting promoting agent, so the bloodloss will be minimised. some local anaestatic would be nice too...   

       In short: abortion will always be very traumatic, not in th elast place for the psycological aspects. It should always be used a a very last resort. Prevention measures like safe-sex, regular anticonceptives or morningafter pills are much better/cheaper/less traumatic than an abortion.   

       But nonetheless +1 for even daring to mention it.
nietsch, Sep 19 2005

       [nietsch], I basically agree. And so to minimize those effects, IF an abortion is to be done, best it be done as early as possible. Too bad various legal delays tend to appear, so as to worsen the experience when/if it ever takes place. (Over in www.multiply.com there is a place where HalfBakers could discuss such things further, if they wished.)   

       It occurs to me to also mention that miscarriages are a quite Natural phenomenon, and if they were excessively dangerous then mammals would have gone extinct millions of years ago.
Vernon, Sep 19 2005

       Medical abortions do essentially what you describe here, but using pills. Linked.
bungston, Sep 19 2005

       and ethics
chocolateraindrops, Sep 19 2005

       [Pa've] The idea is far from advocacy - it's a description of a medical invention. True, the discussion wandered ever so slightly toward discussing the topic rather than the idea, but was brought quickly back.   

       //its simply gross// As are most things medical. Certainly no reason to ban inventions about them.
Worldgineer, Sep 19 2005

       There are simply too many flaws in the approach to even try it. First and foremost, there is next to no maternal blood in the umbilical cord. Cut it anywhere you like and there will be blood lost, but it will be placental -- fœtal. The membrane separating the two parties' blood is the chorion, with a very large surface area, inlayed with the amnion and projections of the umbilical cord.
reensure, Sep 19 2005

       this is a magic laser idea anyway.
schmendrick, Sep 20 2005

       [Pa've], the fetus will not die instantly, but it should die within a fairly short time, because its oxygen supply has been cut. Yes, I know that different types of cells have differing susceptibilities to oxygen deprivation. But nervous-system cells are the MOST susceptible, so while they are nevertheless the cells most associated with feeling pain and suffering (there are discussions about this not being a factor until something like 26 weeks of age, when the brain connects to the spinal cord), these cells are also going to first "shut down" (as in vernacular phrase "My foot is asleep"), and then die, in mere minutes, more quickly than any other cell-type. That's good!   

       [reensure], the main text specifies that it is more-ordinary abortion procedures that can cause bleeding that risks the mother's life.   

       [schmendrick], lasers are not magic. And lasers can be built-to-order to emit just about any light-frequency you wish. So, if a wide-ish beam of light, as it emerges from a lens, passes through translucent tissue at a frequency to which the tissue is mostly transparent, little damage will occur to that tissue. However, since the light DID pass through a converging lens, the light will converge to a point where it can be damaging. This Idea merely requires fine control over where we want that damage to occur.
Vernon, Sep 20 2005

       to me this sounds like a magic cone of light, sorry. but i bunned already so who cares, eh?
schmendrick, Sep 20 2005

       [schmendrick], focusing lasers to only have an effect at a specific distance is an established technology. There's no magic in the technical side of the procedure, except maybe that it would be extremely hard to aim accurately. Still, for reasons others have mentioned, it doesn't seem like the best possible procedure.
5th Earth, Sep 20 2005

       hmyeah, established technology shestablished shmechnology. magic laser.
schmendrick, Sep 20 2005

       If you use a tool like an expert but apply it wrongly in the belief you will fix a problem you don't really understand, does that equate to magic? Maybe it does if you don't believe in magic to begin with. Just like I may believe that a neonate's brain works just fine without blood or nerves because it absorbs enough nutrients through that placental twin of a scalp it carries, but if I act on that belief could it be I just have a magical belief in the cognitive function (because it has never been proven to exist outside of human perception) and on that assumption force a creature to live that will never use that function in life? Maybe it does if I don't believe in the right to die to begin with.
reensure, Sep 21 2005

       /If you use a tool like an expert but apply it wrongly in the belief you will fix a problem you don't really understand, does that equate to magic?/   

       To the man with a hammer every problem is a nail. He remains a hammerer. Erer.
bungston, Sep 21 2005

       just dropped in to fishbone anything that says "Abortion" in the title, have a nice day. I had to be consistent once I'd started, you see.
Sparkyplugclean, Dec 05 2009


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