Attitudes of sperm, egg and embryo donors and recipients towards genetic information and screening of donors

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Reproductive Health, 2018, 15 (1)
Issue Date:
2018-02-09
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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Gamete and embryo donors undergo genetic screening procedures in order to maximise the health of donor-conceived offspring. In the era of genomic medicine, expanded genetic screening may be offered to donors for the purpose of avoiding transmission of harmful genetic mutations. The objective of this study was to explore the attitudes of donors and recipients toward the expanded genetic screening of donors. Methods: Qualitative interview study with thematic analysis, undertaken in a tertiary fertility centre. Semi-structured in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with eleven recipients and nine donors from three different cohorts (sperm, egg and embryo donors/recipients). Results: Donors and recipients acknowledged the importance of genetic information and were comfortable with the existing level of genetic screening of donors. Recipients recognised some potential benefits of expanded genetic screening of donors; however both recipients and donors were apprehensive about extended genomic technologies, with concerns about how this information would be used and the ethics of genetic selectivity. Conclusion: Participants in donor programs support some level of genetic screening of donors, but are wary of expanding genetic screening beyond current levels.
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