Compassionate transfer: Patient requests for embryo transfer for nonreproductive purposes: an Ethics Committee opinion

This document discusses the ethical considerations of embryo transfer for nonreproductive purposes.

Volume 113, Issue 1, Pages 62–65


Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine


A patient request to transfer embryos into her body in a location or at a time when pregnancy is highly unlikely to occur is deemed a request for “compassionate transfer” and often reflects the patient’s deeply personal, strongly held preferences and values. It is ethically permissive for physicians to honor or decline such requests if they do so in a nondiscriminatory manner.

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Go to the profile of Edgardo D. Rolla
almost 3 years ago

There is nothing "compassionate" (with the embryo) if it is going to be discarded.  Before current argentinian law on assisted reproduction, we would give the embryos to those couples requiring it in a nitrogen cooled thermal bottle.  They could do whatever they pleased with them.  Now, law enforces exclusivele transportation by specialized couriers from on IVF center to other.  So here, patients cannot request "compassionate" transport. We are dweling to have a better adoption law, making it easier to adopt abandonned embryos or those not wanted to live by biological or donation parents. Even so, some will continue paying for cryopreservation services in order not to have them given in adoption (which by special court orders is possible now if they do not comply with payments over a certain lapse of time, two years usually). I know our culture differs from others, but did not feel pleased with the term "compassionate".  In general, it does not reflects the true destiny of those transported embryos.