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European cross-border reproductive care

cross-border fertility
ESHRE is the main society in Europe for reproductive specialists, whether they are scientists, embryologists, andrologists or clinician or counsellors, psychologists, anybody who is an expert in the field, including legal experts. It was started over 30 years ago and Bob Edwards was one of the founder members with Jean Cohen and it has several missions, to educate mostly, with special interest groups and we started a special interest group in ethics and law with Guido Pennings about 18 years ago now. The aim of this has been to look at all the different ethical issues in our field which was a plethora, and including cross border reproductive care access for gamete donation, surrogacy etc.
And it has also enabled most professionals to have colleagues and friends who can discuss their ideas all over Europe. About a third of our membership is not Europeans. Ethical issues, doing as much good as you can with as little harm the harm would be definitely sending patients back to the country to deliver with multiple pregnancy, having a lab which is not safe, which is very difficult to imagine nowadays that we have a European Tissue Directive, which all European countries are supposed to abide by. And non-communication can be a problem, either way.
If a patient starts in country X and goes to country Y that the specialist’s country X are able to give primary information to country Y, and especially vice versa. The rare instances of hyper- stimulation can be avoided by not letting patients travel when their health maybe at risk. So these are the major points. We’ve found in our results that again it increases autonomy because patients who would rather have an anonymous donor or a non-anonymous donor will choose a country where the law is different for instance, in Spain donation is anonymous whilst in the UK the situation is different.
You have to, if you are a donor ensure that you will keep giving your name and change of address for the future generation.

Françoise Shenfield is a Fertility Medicine Specialist and a Clinical Lecturer at UCL. Over her thirty-year career, she has focused on international fertility services and especially the ethics of cross-border reproductive care.

Here, she talks about how the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), has been working over the last 30 years to increase our knowledge of cross-border assisted reproduction and the safety of fertility services in Europe and internationally.

See below for a link to the ESHE website.

For your discussion: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of a thriving international fertility service? How can the process be better safeguarded?

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