United States: What is the fate of surplus embryos with no parenting project?

Publié le : 20 September 2013

 In the United States, an in-depth debate is continuing on the possible destruction after a certain length of time of frozen embryos obtained by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and no longer part of a parenting project. Legal uncertainty currently prevails regarding the fate of these surplus embryos with no parenting project since American law does not mention the period of time beyond which they can be destroyed.     

The American Society for Reproductive medicine – ASRM – put forward its views in a report published in March 2013 in the Fertility and Sterility journal. It stated that it was "ethically acceptable" to destroy these embryos five years after the initial contact with the couple if the latter failed to get in touch despite reminders from the centres storing their embryos. The ASRM therefore states that, in the absence of an express directive from the couple regarding the potential use of the embryos, the latter can only be destroyed. They must not be used for research purposes or donated to another couple under any circumstances whatsoever.

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