Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Assist Reprod Genet. 2015 Aug;32(8):1211-20. doi: 10.1007/s10815-015-0524-0. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

Oocyte cryopreservation beyond cancer: tools for ethical reflection.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, University of Milano, Via Adamello 16, 20139, Milan, Italy, alma.linkeviciute@ieo.eu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This article offers physicians a tool for structured ethical reflection on challenging situations surrounding oocyte cryopreservation in young healthy women.

METHODS:

A systematic literature review offers a comprehensive overview of the ethical debate surrounding the practice. Ethical Counseling Methodology (ECM) offers a practical approach for addressing ethical uncertainties. ECM consists of seven steps: (i) case presentation; (ii) analysis of possible implications; (iii) presentation of ethical question(s); (iv) explanation of ethical terms; (v) presentation of the ethical arguments in favor of and against the procedure; (vi) examination of the individual patient's beliefs and wishes; and (vii) conclusive summary.

RESULTS:

The most problematic aspects in the ethical debate include the distinction between medical and non-medical use of oocyte cryopreservation, safety and efficiency of the procedure, and marketing practices aimed at healthy women. Female empowerment and enhanced reproductive choices (granted oocyte cryopreservation is a safe and efficient technique) are presented as ethical arguments supporting the practice, while ethical reservations towards oocyte cryopreservation are based on concerns about maternal and fetal safety and wider societal implications.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oocyte cryopreservation is gaining popularity among healthy reproductive age women. However, despite promised benefits it also involves risks that are not always properly communicated in commercialized settings. ECM offers clinicians a tool for structured ethical analysis taking into consideration a wide range of implications, various ethical standpoints, and patients' perceptions and beliefs.

PMID:
26139157
PMCID:
PMC4554370
DOI:
10.1007/s10815-015-0524-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center