Risk Disclosure and the Recruitment of Oocyte Donors: Are Advertisers Telling the Full Story?

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 42 (2):232-243 (2014)

Authors
Aaron Levine
Georgia Institute of Technology
Roberta Berry
Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract
This study analyzes 435 oocyte donor recruitment advertisements to assess whether entities recruiting donors of oocytes to be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures include a disclosure of risks associated with the donation process in their advertisements. Such disclosure is required by the self-regulatory guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and by law in California for advertisements placed in the state. We find very low rates of risk disclosure across entity types and regulatory regimes, although risk disclosure is more common in advertisements placed by entities subject to ASRM's self-regulatory guidelines. Advertisements placed in California are more likely to include risk disclosure, but disclosure rates are still quite low. California-based entities advertising outside the state are more likely to include risk disclosure than non-California entities, suggesting that California's law may have a modest “halo effect.” Our results suggest that there is a significant ethical and policy problem with the status quo in light of the known and unknown risks of oocyte donation and the importance of risk disclosure to informed consent in the context of oocyte donation
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DOI 10.1111/jlme.12138
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Adverstising for Clinical Research.Franklin G. Miller & Andrew F. Short - forthcoming - IRB: Ethics & Human Research.

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