Re-Evaluating the Ethics of Uterine Transplantation

 

Danish Zaidi, The Journal of Clinical Ethics 28, no. 3 (Fall 2017): 212-6.

 

In February 2016, the Cleveland Clinic initiated the first attempt at cadaveric uterine transplantation (UTx) in the United States. The transplantation was ultimately unsuccessful, but it opened doors for further research on both live and cadaveric UTx. While initial strides toward successful transplantation have been made, questions persist on the ethics of UTx: whether the uterus is a vital organ, whether we should prioritize live or cadaveric options, and how the procedure should be covered by health insurance. If we agree that the goal of the medical profession is both to treat and improve quality of life, then the question of whether or not infertility is considered a disease becomes inconsequential in the discussion. As such, the medical enterprise should move forward with research in UTx. In doing so, considering the ethical implications of UTx remains essential—and we must remember to pair innovation with regulation.

 

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