Abstract


OBJECTIVE: Great interest surrounds patients’ decisions regarding surplus cryopreserved Embryo Disposition (EDi) after Death or Dissolution of a Current Relationship (DiCR). We report couples’ decisions & possible influential factors.
DESIGN: DESIGN: Quantitative survey. view more

OBJECTIVE: Great interest surrounds patients’ decisions regarding surplus cryopreserved Embryo Disposition (EDi) after Death or Dissolution of a Current Relationship (DiCR). We report couples’ decisions & possible influential factors.
DESIGN: DESIGN: Quantitative survey.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey obtaining responses through forums & blogs from patients undergoing autologous IVF in the past 5 years. Questions addressed EDi options following Death or DiCR where embryos could be used for Donation to Partner (DtP), Embryo Donation to another couple (EmD), Research, or Destruction. Data were grouped and analyzed based on age, primary income, IVF payment method, and number of IVF cycles.
RESULTS: Of 267 subjects ages 22-50, 78% provided a disposition following Death and 63% with DiCR. Following Death, 62% preferred DtP compared to 31% after DiCR (p<0.0001). With DiCR, more chose Research (29% vs 20%, p<0.01) and Destruction (29% vs 13%, p<0.0001). Partners made a different choice 10% of the time. Income, IVF payment method, and number of IVF cycles were all significantly associated (p<0.05) with some disposition decision. Compared with subjects making >100k, those from 50-100k were 57%, p<0.05 less likely to prefer DtP in the event of Death. Those who paid cash were 2.4 times, p< 0.01 more likely to choose DtP.
CONCLUSION: Patients’ perceptions of their relationship play an important role in EDi decisions. This suggests that thorough disposition information and counseling are needed during informed consent processes, given the associated economic, legal, ethical, and moral costs of ill-considered disposition decisions.

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