Preserving the right to future children: An ethical case analysis

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Daniel K. Stearsman, Lisa Campo-Engelstein, Devin Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We report on the case of a 2-year-old female, the youngest person ever to undergo ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC). This patient was diagnosed with a rare form of sickle cell disease, which required a bone-marrow transplant, and late effects included high risk of future infertility or complete sterility. Ethical concerns are raised, as the patient's mother made the decision for OTC on the patient's behalf with the intention that this would secure the option of biological childbearing in the future. Based on Beauchamp and Childress's principlism approach of respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice, pursing OTC was ethically justified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision-making
  • Ethics
  • Fertility preservation
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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