The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Samuel E. Hager
Pages 39-48

Against Salpingostomy as a Treatment for Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy, when not resolved naturally, can be fatal to the mother if left untreated. A number of medical solutions exist, though none that save the life of the embryo. This article assesses the ethical value of one of these solutions, the salpingostomy, by examining the moral object of the salpingostomy and whether the procedure constitutes a direct abortion. The author responds with William E. May and Maria DeGoede to salpingostomy proponents Albert Moraczewski, Christopher Kaczor, John Tuohey, and others. Because of the lack of moral certitude that the trophoblast is neither a vital organ of the fetus nor a member of the fetus’s body, the author concludes that the salpingostomy may not be considered a licit procedure in the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, and challenges readers to admit that medical science lacks a direct, active solution to ectopic pregnancy.