The ethics of uterus transplantation

Ruby Catsanos, Wendy Rogers, Mianna Lotz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Human uterus transplantation (UTx) is currently under investigation as a treatment for uterine infertility. Without a uterus transplant, the options available to women with uterine infertility are adoption or surrogacy; only the latter has the potential for a genetically related child. UTx will offer recipients the chance of having their own pregnancy. This procedure occurs at the intersection of two ethically contentious areas: assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and organ transplantation. In relation to organ transplantation, UTx lies with composite tissue transplants such as face and limb grafts, and shares some of the ethical concerns raised by these non-life saving procedures. In relation to ART, UTx represents one more avenue by which a woman may seek to meet her reproductive goals, and as with other ART procedures, raises questions about the limits of reproductive autonomy. This paper explores the ethical issues raised by UTx with a focus on the potential gap between women’s desires and aspirations about pregnancy and the likely functional outcomes of successful UTx.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe ethical challenges of emerging medical technologies
EditorsArthur L. Caplan, Brendan Parent
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781000108958
ISBN (Print)9781472429155
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameThe Library of Essays on the Ethics of Emerging Technologies

Bibliographical note

First published 2013 in Bioethics 27(2), 65-73. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01897.x

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