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Ethical considerations of fertility preservation

Heidi Mertes (UGent) and Guido Pennings (UGent)
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Abstract
Fertility preservation assumes that it is worthwhile to take measures to preserve the fertility of those who are at risk of losing it. This is not a self-evident assumption. There is much debate about the value of genetic parenthood. This goal should be balanced against other values such as distributive justice (allocating public money to different goals) and non-maleficence (not harming patients and future offspring). Decision-making about fertility preservation for female cancer patients is a highly complex process. A multitude of variables should be taken into account: chance of survival of the patient, risks associated with postponement of cancer treatment, utilization rate of the oocytes or ovarian tissue, etc. Given the uncertainty about many of these variables, it is difficult to decide which action promotes the best interests of the patient. Besides adult cancer patients, we also scrutinize the issues related to pediatric patients, Turner patients, and healthy women. Finally, we turn to fertility preservation in boys and adolescents. The main ethical issue regards the fact that these are experimental techniques. Experimental treatment, especially in minors, raises very hard ethical questions. Given the fact that there is no proof of principle in humans and consequently no information on efficacy and efficiency, a very cautious approach is recommended.
Keywords
fertility preservation, ethics, Genetic parenthood, Oocyte cryopreservation, Ovarian tissue cryopreservation, Testicular tissue cryopreservation

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MLA
Mertes, Heidi, and Guido Pennings. “Ethical Considerations of Fertility Preservation.” Female and Male Fertility Preservation, edited by Michael Grynberg and Pasquale Patrizio, Springer, 2022, pp. 627–40, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-47767-7_46.
APA
Mertes, H., & Pennings, G. (2022). Ethical considerations of fertility preservation. In M. Grynberg & P. Patrizio (Eds.), Female and male fertility preservation (pp. 627–640). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47767-7_46
Chicago author-date
Mertes, Heidi, and Guido Pennings. 2022. “Ethical Considerations of Fertility Preservation.” In Female and Male Fertility Preservation, edited by Michael Grynberg and Pasquale Patrizio, 627–40. Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47767-7_46.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mertes, Heidi, and Guido Pennings. 2022. “Ethical Considerations of Fertility Preservation.” In Female and Male Fertility Preservation, ed by. Michael Grynberg and Pasquale Patrizio, 627–640. Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-47767-7_46.
Vancouver
1.
Mertes H, Pennings G. Ethical considerations of fertility preservation. In: Grynberg M, Patrizio P, editors. Female and male fertility preservation. Cham: Springer; 2022. p. 627–40.
IEEE
[1]
H. Mertes and G. Pennings, “Ethical considerations of fertility preservation,” in Female and male fertility preservation, M. Grynberg and P. Patrizio, Eds. Cham: Springer, 2022, pp. 627–640.
@incollection{8743645,
  abstract     = {{Fertility preservation assumes that it is worthwhile to take measures to preserve the fertility of those who are at risk of losing it. This is not a self-evident assumption. There is much debate about the value of genetic parenthood. This goal should be balanced against other values such as distributive justice (allocating public money to different goals) and non-maleficence (not harming patients and future offspring).

Decision-making about fertility preservation for female cancer patients is a highly complex process. A multitude of variables should be taken into account: chance of survival of the patient, risks associated with postponement of cancer treatment, utilization rate of the oocytes or ovarian tissue, etc. Given the uncertainty about many of these variables, it is difficult to decide which action promotes the best interests of the patient. Besides adult cancer patients, we also scrutinize the issues related to pediatric patients, Turner patients, and healthy women.

Finally, we turn to fertility preservation in boys and adolescents. The main ethical issue regards the fact that these are experimental techniques. Experimental treatment, especially in minors, raises very hard ethical questions. Given the fact that there is no proof of principle in humans and consequently no information on efficacy and efficiency, a very cautious approach is recommended.}},
  author       = {{Mertes, Heidi and Pennings, Guido}},
  booktitle    = {{Female and male fertility preservation}},
  editor       = {{Grynberg, Michael and Patrizio, Pasquale}},
  isbn         = {{9783030477660}},
  keywords     = {{fertility preservation,ethics,Genetic parenthood,Oocyte cryopreservation,Ovarian tissue cryopreservation,Testicular tissue cryopreservation}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{627--640}},
  publisher    = {{Springer}},
  title        = {{Ethical considerations of fertility preservation}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47767-7_46}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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