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Decisional authority of gamete donors over embryos created with their gametes

Guido Pennings (UGent)
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Abstract
In the ongoing discussion on the rights and obligations of gamete donors, scant attention has been paid to the decisional authority of gamete donors over the disposition of the embryos created with their gametes. This paper analyses four different positions: three cases relate to the disposition options for surplus or unused embryos by the first recipients, and one case relates to the use of the embryos stored by the first recipients for procreation. We conclude that the gamete donor causally contributes to the creation of the embryos and thus becomes indirectly responsible. To avoid that donors would become accomplices to an activity to which they morally object, a qualified generic consent mentioning types of research should be obtained. No consent from the donor is required for the destruction of the embryos. The cancellation of the agreement by anonymous or identifiable gamete donors should not be possible for embryos in storage for reproduction by the recipients. The interests in not becoming a genetic parent against one's wishes do not outweigh the damage done to recipients who would no longer be able to use their embryos. Known donors, on the contrary, should be able to withdraw their consent up to the moment of transfer of the embryos based on the greater harm caused to them as a consequence of attributional parenthood. They should also be able to veto transfer of the embryos to other people than the original recipients.
Keywords
Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Genetics(clinical), Developmental Biology, Genetics, Reproductive Medicine, General Medicine, Decisional authority, Embryo disposition, Embryo research, Gamete donation, Withdrawal, STEM-CELL RESEARCH, INFORMED-CONSENT, EGG DONORS, DONATION, DISPOSITION, OOCYTES, OPTIONS, COUPLES, RIGHTS

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Citation

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MLA
Pennings, Guido. “Decisional Authority of Gamete Donors over Embryos Created with Their Gametes.” JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS, vol. 37, no. 2, 2020, pp. 281–86.
APA
Pennings, G. (2020). Decisional authority of gamete donors over embryos created with their gametes. JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS, 37(2), 281–286.
Chicago author-date
Pennings, Guido. 2020. “Decisional Authority of Gamete Donors over Embryos Created with Their Gametes.” JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS 37 (2): 281–86.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pennings, Guido. 2020. “Decisional Authority of Gamete Donors over Embryos Created with Their Gametes.” JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS 37 (2): 281–286.
Vancouver
1.
Pennings G. Decisional authority of gamete donors over embryos created with their gametes. JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS. 2020;37(2):281–6.
IEEE
[1]
G. Pennings, “Decisional authority of gamete donors over embryos created with their gametes,” JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 281–286, 2020.
@article{8655439,
  abstract     = {In the ongoing discussion on the rights and obligations of gamete donors, scant attention has been paid to the decisional authority of gamete donors over the disposition of the embryos created with their gametes. This paper analyses four different positions: three cases relate to the disposition options for surplus or unused embryos by the first recipients, and one case relates to the use of the embryos stored by the first recipients for procreation. We conclude that the gamete donor causally contributes to the creation of the embryos and thus becomes indirectly responsible. To avoid that donors would become accomplices to an activity to which they morally object, a qualified generic consent mentioning types of research should be obtained. No consent from the donor is required for the destruction of the embryos. The cancellation of the agreement by anonymous or identifiable gamete donors should not be possible for embryos in storage for reproduction by the recipients. The interests in not becoming a genetic parent against one's wishes do not outweigh the damage done to recipients who would no longer be able to use their embryos. Known donors, on the contrary, should be able to withdraw their consent up to the moment of transfer of the embryos based on the greater harm caused to them as a consequence of attributional parenthood. They should also be able to veto transfer of the embryos to other people than the original recipients.},
  author       = {Pennings, Guido},
  issn         = {1058-0468},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS},
  keywords     = {Obstetrics and Gynaecology,Genetics(clinical),Developmental Biology,Genetics,Reproductive Medicine,General Medicine,Decisional authority,Embryo disposition,Embryo research,Gamete donation,Withdrawal,STEM-CELL RESEARCH,INFORMED-CONSENT,EGG DONORS,DONATION,DISPOSITION,OOCYTES,OPTIONS,COUPLES,RIGHTS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {281--286},
  title        = {Decisional authority of gamete donors over embryos created with their gametes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10815-019-01678-5},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2020},
}

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