Essential Elements of Informed Consent in Egg Donation and Surrogacy
Assisted reproductive technology encompasses a myriad of medical, ethical, moral, emotional, psychological, and religious issues. This is especially true when considering the variety of complex concerns that arise when a patient wishes to be a surrogate or donate her eggs. Informed consent represents a particularly important consideration in the field of assisted reproductive technology. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the most significant ethical and legal issues confronting egg donors and gestational surrogates and offer guidance to medical professionals in a position to communicate relevant information to their patients in order to obtain their informed consent.
Infertility currently affects 7.3 million people in the USA. Of those struggling with infertility, 40 % of cases are attributed to male infertility, 35 % to female tubal factors, and 25 % attribute infertility to problems with female ovulation. At least 25 % of infertile couples have more than one factor causing infertility. Approximately 5–10 % of infertile couples will have no readily apparent cause for their infertility. With the help of assisted reproductive technology, millions of people have been able to have children and create families that they otherwise would not have conceived. With new scientific breakthroughs, however, medical professionals are now forced to reassess practice areas that have been set in stone for decades. This is why informed consent is so important to protect physicians from liability.
KeywordsInsurance Coverage Infertility Stake
Danielle M. Austin is a law student at Fordham University School of Law. She is a summer clerk at the firm, Melissa B. Brisman, Esq., LLC, where she assists Ms. Brisman in the legal aspects involved in helping her clients start or expand their families.
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