EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from anon on 12-12-2013:

Hello. My son's future wife sadly had her ovaries removed when she was young due to a precancerous condition that I don't have any details on. Is there a possibility of ovarian transplants in the future and if so, would such a procedure be allowed in our Catholic religion?


Answer by Judie Brown on 12-20-2013:

Dear Anonymous

I submitted your question to Dr. Anthony Dardano, MD, FACOG and this is his response:

Ovarian transplants have been performed very recently and therefore there is not much follow up data available yet, nor have I seen any ethical articles. My opinion would be that this procedure would not be acceptable. This differs from conventional transplants such as kidney, heart, etc., in that here the genetic code of an individual would be transplanted as well as the physical ovary. The egg then would function as a donor egg and would be akin to the ethical dilemmas of in vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood both of which are not permitted.

Over the years I have had a few patients in this very situation, I can therefore respond with some experience and compassion. Adoption, especially of a newborn, is an excellent alternative which will offer the couple virtually the same experience. To be a "mother" does not only mean biologically. Mothering is the nurturing, loving, and guidance of a child until adulthood which certainly can be accomplished through adoption.

Finally thank God that this precancerous ovarian lesion was found in a timely manner. As you well know ovarian cancer, while in numbers is not one of the most common GYN rumors, is a leading cause of death in that it often goes undetected until too late. My prayers are with this young couple so that they may build a life together according to God's plan.

Have a Blessed Christmas. Anthony N Dardano, MD, FACS, FACOG