Attitudes towards embryo donation in Swedish women and men of reproductive age
Background. When performing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), more embryos than needed are often derived. These embryos are usually frozen and stored, but as ruled by Swedish law they have to be discarded after 5 years. In other countries it is legal to donate the excess embryos to other infertile couples who for different reasons cannot undergo the procedure of IVF. The aim of the present study was to investigate public opinion in Sweden regarding different aspects of embryo donation.
Methods. A questionnaire regarding attitudes towards aspects of embryo donation was sent to a randomized sample of 1,000 Swedish women and men of reproductive age.
Results. A total of 34% responded to the questionnaires. A majority of the respondents (73%) were positive towards embryo donation. Seventy-five per cent agreed that it should be possible to donate embryos to infertile couples. Approximately half of the participants (49%) supported embryo donation to single women. A majority of the participants emphasized that demands should be imposed on the recipient’s age (63%), alcohol addiction (79%), drug addiction (85%), and criminal record (67%). Forty-seven per cent of the respondents agreed that the recipient should be anonymous to the donor, and 38% thought that the donor should remain anonymous to the child.
Conclusions. The results of the present study indicate support for embryo donation among a subset of the Swedish population of reproductive age. If embryo donation were to be allowed in Sweden, strategies for treatment and counselling need to be developed.
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