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Fertil Steril. 2010 Feb;93(2):499-509. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.015. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Fertility patients' views about frozen embryo disposition: results of a multi-institutional U.S. survey.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University, Box 3040, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. lyerl003@mc.duke.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe fertility patients' preferences for disposition of cryopreserved embryos and determine factors important to these preferences.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey conducted between June 2006 and July 2007.

SETTING:

Nine geographically diverse U.S. fertility clinics.

PATIENT(S):

1020 fertility patients with cryopreserved embryos.

INTERVENTION(S):

Self-administered questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Likelihood of selecting each of five conventional embryo disposition options: store for reproduction, thaw and discard, donate to another couple, freeze indefinitely, and donate for research; likelihood of selecting each of two alternative options identified in previous research: placement of embryos in the woman's body at an infertile time, or a disposal ceremony; importance of each of 26 considerations to disposition decisions; and views on the embryo's moral status.

RESULT(S):

We found that 54% of respondents with cryopreserved embryos were very likely to use them for reproduction, 21% were very likely to donate for research, 7% or fewer were very likely to choose any other option. Respondents who ascribed high importance to concerns about the health or well-being of the embryo, fetus, or future child were more likely to thaw and discard embryos or freeze them indefinitely.

CONCLUSION(S):

Fertility patients frequently prefer disposition options that are not available to them or find the available options unacceptable. Restructuring and standardizing the informed consent process and ensuring availability of all disposition options may benefit patients, facilitate disposition decisions, and address problems of long-term storage.

Copyright 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. All rights reserved.

PMID:
19061998
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2828821
Free PMC Article
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