This article suggests that the fears of commodification in the face of “body ownership” are exaggerated and misplaced.
Manasi Kumar, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Isha Saluja, Doctoral Research Fellow, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The first successful uterine transplant in India was conducted in 2017; and in October 2018, India saw its first successful live birth from a transplanted uterus. While Indian legislators and courts are unable to agree upon regulation for other assisted reproductive technologies, particularly commercial surrogacy, this development serves as a warning that medical technology is proceeding at a neck-breaking speed.
The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act of 1994 will be insufficient to address the challenges posed by uterine transplantation, as it is an elective procedure for a non-life-threatening disease, for which the demand is likely to outstrip the supply. This article will explore the requirement of altruism and suggests that the fears of commodification in the face of “body ownership” are exaggerated and misplaced.
Further, the methodology for investigating a donor’s motive is fundamentally unsound, necessitating the separation of intent from motive; the former requires careful clinical, legal, and psychological scrutiny to ensure informed consent free from coercion, while the latter is best left to the complicated recesses of the human mind. Finally, this article recommends that the Indian government should adopt the Montreal Criteriaf or the Ethical Feasibilityo f Uterine Transplantation as a sound basis for ethical medical practice, while also considering what prioritization rules to adopt for the allocation of donated uteruses.
Published in: Quinnipiac Health Law Journal
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