The ESHRE Task Force on Ethics and Law acknowledges the benefits that IMAR may bring to those choosing this approach and concludes that certain forms of IMAR are morally acceptable under certain conditions. The group advises to evaluate each request for IMAR individually, based on four ethical principles in health care: the respect for autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence and justice.
The Task Force explains that the right for individual autonomy is elementary: any individual should have the principle of choice with whom to reproduce. It is understandable that couples wish to preserve some sort of genetic identity with the child, and hence may wish to choose a donor in the family. IMAR may facilitate a child's access to its biological roots and enable it to have contact with the donor or the surrogate mother. Often faced with no realistic alternatives due to long waiting times or lack of donors, IMAR may also be the only option available to these patients.
The ESHRE group recommends that fertility doctors should take into account the relevant regulations in their country when they assist a couple with IMAR. In some countries IMAR is illegal and the relevant laws against incest and consanguinity apply to protect the offspring from genetic risks and to avoid possible social disruptions and conflicts.
"Doctors should assess any possible psychosocial and medical risks related to the treatment," says Dr. Wybo Dondorp, deputy coordinator of the Task Force. "Doctors must therefore consider the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence together and aim at producing net benefit over harm for all parties involved."
Potential risks may affect several parties, including the future child. These risks can arise from intrafamilial conflict if parents feel threatened in their parental role or if they have different views from the collaborators on how the child should be informed of its genetic origins. Especially in cases of intergene
|Contact: Hanna Hanssen|
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology