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Consent agreements for cryopreserved embryos : the\ud case for choice

By Peter D. Sozou, Sally Sheldon and Geraldine M. Hartshorne


Under current UK law, an embryo cannot be transferred\ud to a woman’s uterus without the consent of both of its\ud genetic parents, that is both of the people from whose\ud gametes the embryo was created. This consent can be\ud withdrawn at any time before the embryo transfer\ud procedure. Withdrawal of consent by one genetic parent\ud can result in the other genetic parent losing the\ud opportunity to have their own genetic children. We argue\ud that offering couples only one type of consent\ud agreement, as happens at present, is too restrictive. An\ud alternative form of agreement, in which one genetic\ud parent agrees to forego the right to future withdrawal of\ud consent, should be available alongside the current form\ud of agreement. Giving couples such a choice will better\ud enable them to store embryos under a consent\ud agreement that is appropriate for their circumstances.\ud Allowing such a choice, with robust procedures in place\ud to ensure the validity of consent, is the best way to\ud respect patient autonomy

Topics: RG
Publisher: BMJ Group
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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