Buying and selling human eggs: infertility providers’ ethical and other concerns regarding egg donor agencies

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:71
Author: Robert Klitzman
“Egg donor agencies are increasingly being used as part of IVF in the US, but are essentially unregulated, posing critical ethical and policy questions concerning how providers view and use them, and what the implications might be.”
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‘Social’ egg freezing and the UK’s statutory storage time limits

J Med Ethics 2016; 42: 738-741
Author: Emily Jackson
“This article argues that the statutory time limits upon the storage of gametes have unintended and perhaps even perverse consequences for women freezing their eggs as insurance against age-related fertility decline. They work against good clinical practice and potentially represent an interference with a woman’s right to respect for her family life, which is neither necessary nor proportionate. My claim will be that the statutory time limit, and the options for extension, are no longer fit for purpose.”
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The Misleading Promise of I.V.F. for Women Over 40

NYT, 17 October 2016
Author: Jane E Brody
“What the industry didn’t say is that the success rate for older women is consistently low,’ she said. ‘It focused on the 20 percent of women who succeed, not the 80 percent failure rate. The industry avoided saying that the technology hasn’t worked for an estimated 20 million women globally during the last 40 years.”
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Ethicists call out Australian IVF industry

MJA Insight, 3 October 2016
Author: Jane McCredie
“Virtue is not a word you hear used all that often in the cut-throat world of business, but it’s one that a group of Australian medical ethicists would like to see applied to the burgeoning in vitro fertilisation (IVF) industry. Some players in that industry have been under fire in recent times, accused of misleading advertising, raising unreasonable expectations in clients, non-evidence-based practice, and recommendation of more profitable treatments over cheaper ones, even when these may not hold out the greatest prospect of success.”
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Mitochondrial donation and ‘the right to know’

J Med Ethics 2016;42:678-684 doi:10.1136/medethics-2016-103587
Author: Reuven Brandt
“In this paper, I examine two key arguments advanced by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the Nuffield Council justifying anonymous mitochondrial donation, even though the ‘right to know’ is recognised in standard gamete donation. I argue that the two arguments they offer, what I call the argument from genetic connection and the argument from personal characteristics, are unsuccessful. However, I provide additional reasons for why recognising the right to know in gamete donation but not in mitochondrial donation may be justified. I further argue that the status quo in the UK, which is to not recognise a right to know in mitochondrial donation, is provisionally acceptable.”
Find abstract here.

A case report of embryo donation: ethical and clinical implications for psychologists

J Med Ethics 2016;42:659-664 doi:10.1136/medethics-2015-103304
Authors: Marianne Rizk, Stacey Pawlak
“Third-party reproduction is a growing field, and an increasing body of literature considers the ethics of embryo donation. Due to the psychosocial complexities that generally accompany the donation and/or use of donor embryos, psychologists can play a pivotal role in these specialised fertility cases. While laws in the USA are in place to regulate the medical procedures involved in embryo donation, only unenforceable guidelines exist for psychologists specialising in fertility cases.”
Find abstract here.

Foetal surgery and using in utero therapies to reduce the degree of disability after birth. Could it be morally defensible or even morally required?

Med Health Care and Philos (2016). doi:10.1007/s11019-016-9727-0
Author: Constantinos Kanaris
“In 2008 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act amendments made deliberately choosing to bring disability into the world, using assisted reproduction, a criminal offence. This paper considers whether the legal prohibition above, should influence other policy areas concerning the welfare of future children such as new possibilities presented by foetal surgery and in utero gene therapy. If we have legal duties to avoid disability in one context should this influence our avoidance of disability in this other context?”
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Embryo Disposition Disputes: Controversies and Case Law

Hastings Center Report 46, no. 5 (2016): 13-19
Authors: Glenn Cohen, Eli Y Adashi
“Many courts face a recurring problem: the partners dissolve their relationship (typically through divorce), and one party wants to use the frozen embryos over the objections of the other. Courts and legislatures have struggled with how to handle these cases, which seem to pit one partner’s right to procreate against the other’s right not to procreate. In this essay, we use one of the most recent decisions in this line of cases—the Appellate Court of Illinois’s decision in Szafranski v. Dunston—to explain the current state of the law and make recommendations for changes. The issue is ripe for revisiting because in the last year, embryo disputes have become a battlefront for larger conflagrations over the moral status of embryos.”
Find essay here.

Don’t dismiss conflict-of-interest concerns in IVF, they have a basis

The Conversation, 1 June 2016
Authors: Jane Williams, Brette Blakely, Christopher Mayes, Wendy Lipworth
“Over the past 12 months, there have been numerous critical media analyses of the IVF industry in Australia, including Monday night’s ABC Four Corners program, The Baby Business. The episode suggested IVF doctors are recommending treatments that are expensive, unsafe and likely to be futile.”
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Reframing the Debate Around State Responses to Infertility: Considering the Harms of Subfertility and Involuntary Childlessness

Public Health Ethics published 8 March 2016, 10.1093/phe/phw005
Authors: Rebecca CH Brown, Wendy A Rogers, Vikki A Entwistle, and Siladitya Bhattacharya
“Many countries are experiencing increasing levels of demand for access to assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Policies regarding who can access ART and with what (if any) support from a collective purse are highly contested, raising questions about what state responses are justified. …we propose that debates about appropriate state responses should consider the various implications for health and broader well-being that may be associated with difficulties starting a family.”
Find abstract here.