Fertility treatment when the prognosis is very poor or futile: an Ethics Committee opinion

The ethical considerations of providing fertility treatment to patients when the prognosis is very poor or futile are discussed.

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Volume 111, Issue 4, Pages 659–663


Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 


The Ethics Committee recommends that in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers develop patient-centered policies regarding requests for futile treatment. In most cases, clear communication can avoid a direct conflict, but clinicians ethically may refuse to provide treatment believed to be futile or to carry a very poor prognosis. In certain instances, clinicians may provide limited treatment which they judge likely to be futile, but must be vigilant in their presentation of risks, benefits, and alternatives. This version replaces the previous published draft of this name (Fertil Steril 2012;98:e6-9).

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.