Dan Reisel

Dan Reisel

Senior Research Associate, Institute for Women's Health (UCL). Coordinator of the ethics teaching on the Institute's MSc courses, researcher in preventive medicine and bioethics in Women's Health

Location London


  • Welcome to the course! Look forward to learning with you and from you in the weeks ahead. Any questions please feel free to ask, and of course add your comments and views. Everyone benefits from a vibrant and wide-ranging conversation about all of these issues.

  • Agree that it would be great to add these perspectives, both from international and more local surrogacy arrangements. And perhaps include a family that have chosen to stay in touch with their surrogate.

  • Thanks for sharing, well worth watching.

  • I tend to agree with you that we're already there and that we're unlikely to see this change. The challenge is to maintain respect for individuals affected by such convictions at the same time, and continue to make society more inclusive and supportive. And that's not an easy challenge!

  • I suppose a follow-up questions would be, how can we maintain respect for the dignity of people living with disabilities at the same time as we, as a society, work towards limiting the prevalence of certain conditions.

  • You might find step 5.13 this week interesting, as it deals with the case of late onset disorders (BRCA-related inherited cancer) and PGD. Some feel this is beyond the pale, yet many carriers, who have gone through radical surgery or even had cancer, are desperate to eradicate the deleterious mutation from their family.

  • Termination of pregnancy based on fetal sex is not legal in the UK. That of course does not stop individuals having the a test in the private sector and then procuring an abortion. How widespread this is, no one knows.

  • Thanks Irene. Do you know if there is public support in Ireland for a law change?

  • Wonderful. Thank you for sharing, Carole.

  • Thanks for sharing.

  • Think it would be terrific to add this in future course runs.

  • If you feel like that, then you're already at an advanced stage of understanding!

  • How interesting, thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for sharing, Linda.

  • Thank you for sharing that, Sian.

  • Thank you for sharing that, Liz. We touch on this in step 5.13 in two week's time. Would be interested to hear your thoughts then.

  • Good point, which is why co-parenting is increasing as a real option for many people, enabling contact with the donor from as early as is desired. The age of 18 has to do with it being the end of the period when the child is eligible for monetary support. If the donor was identified earlier than the child's coming of age, there was a concern on behalf of...

  • The law is not retrospective, so anyone who donated gametes anonymously in the IK prior to 1 April 2005 are still considered anonymous donors. They can, however, voluntarily sign up to a register, so that donor-conceived children aware of their status, can potentially contact them.

  • Fascinating perspective. Thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing! See you next week! :)

  • Dan Reisel made a comment

    Apologies for the link not working! Futurelearn is on the case!

  • Thank you for sharing this and for your insightful comments, Rebecca.

  • The WHO actually classifies infertility as a disability: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/definitions/en/

  • Correct about NICE, David. Very interesting points!

  • How interesting! I assume this is for heterosexual couples only? And when you say subsidy, does that mean it's free? How many cycles? Tell us more!

  • This is a key question. It also goes to the heart of what infertility means. More on this later this week.

  • There are important cultural variations around these issues. So important to understand what people think at various stages of gestation. Thank you for your contributions.

  • These stats are for women who have had collection and implantation below the age of 35. There is a reason that clinics quote this rather than the success rate at 45...

  • This will be covered later on in the course - stay tuned!

  • I don't believe this is a material factor.

  • Everything is relative, i suppose! Thank you for your comment.

  • Note that this success rate is for women under the age of 35. Agree with your final point!

  • Thank you for your valuable comments.

  • Thanks both - fascinating!

  • This particular clinic state that they have live brith rates of 60% in under 35s, which is very high compared to others. They also state that they don't have a material difference between frozen and fresh embryos.

  • Usually patients are given a general anaesthetic (asleep) for the procedure. This does involve risks. And some eggs will not survive thawing, which is why usually several cycles are required.

  • Given the funding pressures on the NHS in the UK at present, I can't see that we will get there in terms of social egg freezing but your point still stands - it's unfair that only those with a large disposable income can afford these technologies. Perhaps an insurance-based model could work?

  • The effects of the hormonal treatment is probably not completely understood I imagine.

  • Wish we could have included more in this interview, but there is just so much to cover!

  • More about this later! Thank you.

  • I wonder how this differs in different countries. I believe there is a generally agreed cut-off in the UK (mid-fifties). But each clinic will have their own parameters.