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Fertil Steril. 2011 Aug;96(2):291-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.06.024. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Egg freezing for age-related fertility decline: preventive medicine or a further medicalization of reproduction? Analyzing the new Israeli policy.

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The Institute for Medical Research, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


In December 2009, the Israel National Bioethics Council (INBC) issued recommendations permitting egg freezing to prevent both disease- and age-related fertility decline. The INBC report forms the basis of Israel's new policy regarding egg freezing. This article analyzes the medical section of the INBC's recommendations, comparing it with guidelines formulated by medical regulatory bodies in Europe and the United States. Our findings suggest that the INBC's recommendations consider age-related fertility decline to be a medical problem, and hence treat the new technology favorably, as preventive medicine, which we perceive as another instance of medicalization. The technology's risks are downplayed by the INBC, unlike the positions of medical organizations in both Europe and the United States, which consider the new technology experimental. This may culminate in raising false hopes about women's possible late genetic motherhood leading to involuntary future childlessness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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