Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Penn Study Emphasizes Need for National Guidelines for Assisted Reproductive Technology Programs

19.01.2005


Infertility prevents roughly 6.1 million people in the United States from having children. As a result, infertile individuals and couples commonly seek to become parents through assisted reproductive technology (ART). Since 1981, approximately 177,000 babies have been born via ART: and, in one year alone (2000), some 100,000 cycles of ART were attempted, resulting in 60,253 live births. Beyond the factors of infertility and a candidate’s ability to afford treatment, little is known about the qualifications that ART programs use to determine a candidate’s eligibility for parenthood. This raises the question: Should there be guidelines to determine who should be eligible to use this technology for reproduction?



A new study sponsored by the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine sheds important light on the values that govern access to ART. The study, published in the January 2005 issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility, reveals an alarming inconsistency in the candidate-screening practices of different ART programs in the United States. Indeed, “the majority of programs in the U.S. do not have a formal policy for screening, leaving individual clinics and programs to set their own boundaries” says Andrea Gurmankin, PhD, principal investigator for the study, which was completed while Gurmankin was still a member of Penn’s faculty: she has since joined the Harvard School of Public Health, where she now serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health. By contrast, many countries, such as the United Kingdom, have national or professional guidelines for screening program candidates. According to the researchers, the important role played by clinics in controlling access to ART in the U.S. emphasizes the need to more openly discuss and, in turn, establish ART candidate-screening qualifications to ensure equality across different programs.

The study also revealed that “… the majority of the ART programs believe that they have the right and responsibility to screen candidates before providing them with assisted reproductive technologies to conceive a child… the key value being that they ensure a prospective child’s safety and welfare and not risk the welfare of the prospective mother.”


The study also found that there was a significant variation across programs in their reported likelihood of turning away candidates. The researchers found, for instance, that when program directors were addressed with a hypothetical situation in which the prospective “mom” in a couple was addicted to marijuana, 33% of the programs said they would accept the couple for ART services, whereas 47% of programs would have denied that couple access. The researchers also found that a couple on welfare is as likely to be granted access as they are to be denied. “The frequency of these variations highlight the need for a formal policy and common guidelines for candidate screening utilized by all ART facilities,” states co-author Arthur Caplan, PhD, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at Penn’s School of Medicine.

The study began in 2001 when a six-member expert panel -- which included infertility specialists, an obstetrician/gynecologist, bioethicists, and a clinical psychologist from an ART clinic -- developed a survey and refined it into a final questionnaire. A total of 210 out of 369 ART program directors responded to the anonymous, self-administered, mailed questionnaire.

In addition to Drs. Gurmankin and Caplan, the research team included Andrea Braverman, PhD, from the Woman’s Institute for Fertility, Endocrinology and Menopause, in Philadelphia.

Tiffany Savickas | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>