Ethical considerations in the era of the uterine transplant an update of the Montreal Criteria for the Ethical Feasibility of Uterine Transplantation

Uterine transplantation is under investigation for the treatment of uterine factor infertility. Before the transplant becomes standard practice, an ethical framework should be established.

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Ariel Lefkowitz, M.D., B.A., Sc., Marcel Edwards, M.D., M.Sc., Jacques Balayla, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 4, Pages 924-926, October 2013


Absolute uterine factor infertility (UFI) refers to the refractory causes of female infertility stemming from the anatomical or physiological inability of a uterus to sustain gestation. The uterine transplant is currently under investigation as a potential treatment of UFI in women who desire to go through the experience of gestation. In addition to the intricate medical and scientific complexities that face Uterine transplant, ethical concerns continue to arise as the procedure is tested in humans. This article delves into the ethical issues that surround this controversial and potentially paradigm-altering procedure, by updating and expanding upon the “The Montreal Criteria for the Ethical Feasibility of Uterine Transplantation,” a set of proposed criteria required for a woman to be ethically considered as a candidate for uterine transplantation. Since their publication in 2012, the criteria have served as a standard to guide clinicians and researchers in the ethical execution of uterine transplant. More specifically, this paper answers the call for “continuous careful ethical reflection, assessment and approval,” as a group of experts on the subject put forward in the “Indianapolis Consensus,” which offers critical discussions as the procedure is translated into clinical practice.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.