Open Access Review Article Article ID: GJFR-2-107

    Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation / Transplantation for Social Reasons: Between (“Good”) Medicalization and Medical Treatment.

    Voultsos P*

    Background: Ovarian tissue cryopreservation / transplantation (OTC/OTT) has recently been considered as a well-established rather than an experimental method (at least adopting pragmatic optimism) and turned into a realistic option for a healthy woman needing to delay her childbearing and defer her menopause. Thus, going beyond “normality” through medicalizing a normal aspect of a woman’s life or addressing a medical problem?

    Discussion: Ovarian tissue has a dual nature: it is an organ with a dual function: endocrine and gametogenesis. Premature ovarian failure may be an unhealthy state insofar as health is captured in a holistic way according to Nordenfelt’s or especially Richman’s theory, especially if Elson’s theory of hormonal hierarchy is true. Childbearing age is broadly captured, involving what for the time being is meant as early post-menopausal stage, since human life expectancy has expanded significantly but the childbearing lifespan of a woman has not. On the other hand, it is not clear whether the social environment represents a social determinant of public health or a mere cause of a woman’s ill health at least in so far as autonomy is captured through the relational model of autonomy.

    Conclusion: OTC/OTT for a “healthy” woman are carried out in a blurred and clearly shifting gray zone between normality and pathology when performed at a childbearing age, thus fostering an already existing situation. OTT/OTC constitute “good” (ethically acceptable) medicalization which is subtly    diversified from medical treatment as being divided from it with a thin blurring borderline, thus being on the cusp of becoming medical treatment based on solid medical reasons.


    Published on: Apr 24, 2017 Pages: 9-23

    Full Text PDF Full Text HTML DOI: 10.17352/gjfr.000007
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