Ethical obligations in fertility treatment when intimate partners withhold information from each other: an Ethics Committee opinion

This document discusses the ethical responsibilities of the clinician in cases of patient or partner request for non- disclosure of personal health information to their intimate partner when the couple is seeking infertility treatment.

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Volume 110, Issue 4, Pages 619–624

Authors:

Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 

Abstract:

Clinicians should encourage disclosure between intimate partners but must maintain confidentiality in cases where there is no prospect of harm to the partner and/or offspring. In cases where one member of a couple refuses to disclose relevant health information to the other partner and there exists a risk of harm to the unaware partner and/or offspring, clinicians may refuse to offer care and should decline to treat if full informed consent is not possible due to lack of disclosure.


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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. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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