Author(s): Mizukami A, Peterson CM, Huang I, Cook C, Boyack LM,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Infertility due to accelerated loss of ovarian follicles/oocytes may occur through numerous mechanisms. As a result, posthumous human oocyte donation, banking and maturation protocols for research and fertility restoration are current interests in reproductive medicine. METHODS: A computer-generated sample of Utah residents (n = 704) were surveyed regarding demographics, willingness to donate organs, IVF acceptability and posthumous follicle/oocyte donation for: research, fertilization with monitoring to the preembryo stage (eight cells), and fertilization and subsequent transfer of embryos derived from themselves, their partner or non-spousal relative for whom they act as guardian. RESULTS: Ovarian tissue donation for follicle/oocyte retrieval, maturation and scientific investigation without fertilization was acceptable (>or=70\%) to a majority of the Utah population. However, fertilization of oocytes or fertilization and transfer of resulting preembyos derived from such donations to cause a pregnancy was less acceptable (58.3\% and 57.4\%, respectively) in the population responding for their own or partner's oocytes, and more so when the donation was guardian-directed (54.8\% and 52.1\%, respectively). Similar declines in the level of acceptance were noted when those who had an express interest in such donations (ovarian failure or surgical castration) were surveyed (n = 50). CONCLUSIONS: This study substantiates the ethical recommendation that explicit prior written consent of the donor be obtained when ovarian tissue donations are procured for fertilization, or transfer of a preembryo to cause a pregnancy. In light of the rapid technological advancements in ovarian follicle/oocyte cryopreservation and maturation, the time may have come to provide potential organ donors the opportunity to specify their desires regarding ovarian tissues when registering for organ donation.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics