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Infertility patients' beliefs about their embryos and their disposition preferences

Veerle Provoost (UGent) , Guido Pennings (UGent) , Petra De Sutter (UGent) , Jan Gerris (UGent) , Anneleen Van De Velde (UGent) , Evi De Lissnyder and Marc Dhont (UGent)
(2009) HUMAN REPRODUCTION. 24(4). p.896-905
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Abstract
Little research has been done on how beliefs of infertility patients about their embryos are related to their disposition decisions. The objective of this study was to describe how patients speak about their embryos, in moral (e.g. status) and non-moral terms, and to investigate how patients' narratives are related to their disposition preferences. In-depth interviews based on the method of interpretative phenomenological analysis were conducted with patients undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment between May and July 2006. Seven couples and 11 female patients were interviewed. Six major themes emerged from the narratives of the participants when they spoke about their embryos: (i) a medical-technical perspective; (ii) feelings; (iii) genetic link to oneself and/or one's partner; (iv) symbolic meaning of the relationship between the infertile partners; (v) moral status and (vi) instrumental value. All but two participants spontaneously considered the embryo disposition options as a two-stage decision sequence. In the first step, they considered donation to another couple for reproductive purposes. At this stage, the presence of the themes 'genetic link' and 'symbol of the relationship' was linked with a clear reluctance to donate. In the second step of the decision-making process, the option of donation for research and discarding were considered. At this stage, participants' confidence in medical science and the instrumental value they attached to the embryo were related to their decisions. Patients' conceptualization of their embryos plays an important role in embryo disposition decisions. Our research showed that patients deal with these decisions in a two-stage decision sequence.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Provoost, Veerle et al. “Infertility Patients’ Beliefs About Their Embryos and Their Disposition Preferences.” HUMAN REPRODUCTION 24.4 (2009): 896–905. Print.
APA
Provoost, V., Pennings, G., De Sutter, P., Gerris, J., Van De Velde, A., De Lissnyder, E., & Dhont, M. (2009). Infertility patients’ beliefs about their embryos and their disposition preferences. HUMAN REPRODUCTION, 24(4), 896–905.
Chicago author-date
Provoost, Veerle, Guido Pennings, Petra De Sutter, Jan Gerris, Anneleen Van De Velde, Evi De Lissnyder, and Marc Dhont. 2009. “Infertility Patients’ Beliefs About Their Embryos and Their Disposition Preferences.” Human Reproduction 24 (4): 896–905.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Provoost, Veerle, Guido Pennings, Petra De Sutter, Jan Gerris, Anneleen Van De Velde, Evi De Lissnyder, and Marc Dhont. 2009. “Infertility Patients’ Beliefs About Their Embryos and Their Disposition Preferences.” Human Reproduction 24 (4): 896–905.
Vancouver
1.
Provoost V, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Gerris J, Van De Velde A, De Lissnyder E, et al. Infertility patients’ beliefs about their embryos and their disposition preferences. HUMAN REPRODUCTION. 2009;24(4):896–905.
IEEE
[1]
V. Provoost et al., “Infertility patients’ beliefs about their embryos and their disposition preferences,” HUMAN REPRODUCTION, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 896–905, 2009.
@article{670163,
  abstract     = {Little research has been done on how beliefs of infertility patients about their embryos are related to their disposition decisions. The objective of this study was to describe how patients speak about their embryos, in moral (e.g. status) and non-moral terms, and to investigate how patients' narratives are related to their disposition preferences.
In-depth interviews based on the method of interpretative phenomenological analysis were conducted with patients undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment between May and July 2006.

Seven couples and 11 female patients were interviewed. Six major themes emerged from the narratives of the participants when they spoke about their embryos: (i) a medical-technical perspective; (ii) feelings; (iii) genetic link to oneself and/or one's partner; (iv) symbolic meaning of the relationship between the infertile partners; (v) moral status and (vi) instrumental value. All but two participants spontaneously considered the embryo disposition options as a two-stage decision sequence. In the first step, they considered donation to another couple for reproductive purposes. At this stage, the presence of the themes 'genetic link' and 'symbol of the relationship' was linked with a clear reluctance to donate. In the second step of the decision-making process, the option of donation for research and discarding were considered. At this stage, participants' confidence in medical science and the instrumental value they attached to the embryo were related to their decisions.

Patients' conceptualization of their embryos plays an important role in embryo disposition decisions. Our research showed that patients deal with these decisions in a two-stage decision sequence.},
  author       = {Provoost, Veerle and Pennings, Guido and De Sutter, Petra and Gerris, Jan and Van De Velde, Anneleen and De Lissnyder, Evi and Dhont, Marc},
  issn         = {0268-1161},
  journal      = {HUMAN REPRODUCTION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {896--905},
  title        = {Infertility patients' beliefs about their embryos and their disposition preferences},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/den486},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2009},
}

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