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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The need for infertility treatment brings professionals into reproductive decisions that are important private matters for patients. In medically assisted reproduction, providers are brought into roles traditionally regarded as occupied only by nature and into a position to determine which embryos are suitable for transfer in the effort to achieve pregnancy. These powers of judgment present ethical challenges for professionals providing assisted reproduction services. Among these challenges is the potential conflictual involvement of multiple patients in the process: intended parents, gamete donors, and gestational surrogates. Other challenges include the obligation to avoid discrimination in selecting embryos for transfer or in making decisions about which patients to serve. Providers must be informed by ethical discussions such as the ethics opinions of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Important ethical considerations include respect for patient choice, the best interests of offspring, nondiscrimination, and social justice.

Keywords: assisted reproductive technology, physician discretion, gestational surrogate, gamete donor, egg donor, sperm donor, sperm bank, informed consent, provider–patient relationship

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