“Ethicists have rightly challenged the audacity of performing non life-saving transplantations with a goal for vanity and appearance rather than preservation of life itself,” admitted the team of surgeons at Harvard Medical School that was behind the first penis transplant in the U.S.

This point is made starker by the fact that reconstructive phalloplasty, in which a penis is surgically built from skin grafts, has advanced considerably over the decades. The procedure creates a highly functional member with complete urinary function, good tactile sensation, and even satisfactory intercourse and orgasm.

Moreover, phalloplasty avoids the lifelong administration of immunosuppressant drugs required by transplantation to ensure that the donor penis isn’t rejected by the body’s immune system. The costly regimen usually involves taking six to twelve powerful medications every day.