A Better Half: The Ethics of Hemicorporectomy Surgery

Jane Jankowski, Lisa Campo-Engelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the ethical issues related to hemicorporectomy surgery, a radical procedure that removes the lower half of the body in order to prolong life. The literature on hemicorporectomy (HC), also called translumbar amputation, has been nearly silent on the ethical considerations relevant to this rare procedure. We explore five aspects of the complex landscape of hemicorporectomy to illustrate the broader ethical questions related to this extraordinary procedure: benefits, risks, informed consent, resource allocation and justice, and loss and the lived body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioethical Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Body modification
  • Hemicorporectomy
  • Informed consent
  • Lived body
  • Resource allocation
  • Risks and benefits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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