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Fertil Steril. 2012 Sep;98(3):735-740.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.05.044. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Population-based study of attitudes toward posthumous reproduction.

Author information

1
Division of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. sbarton@partners.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To measure public attitudes toward posthumous reproduction.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Electronic survey.

PATIENT(S):

A total of 1,049 men and women living in the United States between the ages of 18 and 75 years.

INTERVENTION(S):

Multiple-choice questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Descriptive statistics regarding support for posthumous reproduction, such as regarding emergency harvesting of gametes, and attitudes toward consent; multivariable analyses of demographic and personal experiences associated with support for posthumous reproduction.

RESULT(S):

Results showed that 47.8% supported and 31.1% opposed retrieving gametes from men, and 42.7% supported and 35.9% opposed retrieving gametes from women. The remainder was undecided. Among supporters, 69.8% believed prior consent from the deceased was required. Support was positively associated with younger age, higher education, higher income, Democratic political party affiliation, history of infertility, and currently attempting conception. Gender, religion, race, and region of the country were not associated with support. Organ donors and those who support IVF were more likely to support posthumous reproduction (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.68 [1.19-2.38] and 12.30 [6.56-23.04], respectively). Most respondents were initially unfamiliar with posthumous reproduction.

CONCLUSION(S):

Almost 50% of the general population support posthumous reproduction in men and women. The majority favored prior consent from the deceased. These data caution against emergency gamete harvesting without prior consent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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