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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Dec;26(6):853-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2012.04.002. Epub 2012 May 16.

Ethical issues in infertility treatment.

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Bioethics Institute Ghent, Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2, Gent 9000, Belgium.


Two currently contentious domains in infertility treatment are discussed: assisted reproduction for same-sex couples and fertility preservation for women with cancer. Despite an increasing recognition of the rights of same-sex couples, in many countries they are still not eligible for assisted reproductive technology. The main justification for excluding same-sex couples from treatment is that the welfare of the future children would be compromised. Empirical evidence, however, shows that this is not the case. Another group of non-infertile women seeking assistance from reproductive medicine are women with cancer who are at risk of impaired or lost fertility as a result of their illness or cancer treatment. In this field, the future holds many promising options. Several of these, however, are currently in an experimental phase, which elicits ethical concerns about participant recruitment and research participation of children.

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