A content analysis of posthumous sperm procurement protocols with considerations for developing an institutional policy

Capsule:
Through a content analysis of nine existing posthumous sperm procurement (PSP) policies, we identified the major components important to a thorough protocol and developed two competing models for PSP policies.

Authors:
Sarah M. Bahm, B.A., Katrina Karkazis, Ph.D., M.P.H., David Magnus, Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 3, Pages 839-843.e6, September 2013

Abstract:

Objective:
To identify and analyze existing posthumous sperm procurement (PSP) protocols in order to outline central themes for institutions to consider when developing future policies.

Design:
Qualitative content analysis.

Setting:
Large academic institutions across the United States.

Patient(s):
N/A.

Intervention(s):
We performed a literature search and contacted 40 institutions to obtain nine full PSP protocols. We then performed a content analysis on these policies to identify major themes and factors to consider when developing a PSP protocol.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Presence of a PSP policy.

Result(s):
We identified six components of a thorough PSP protocol: Standard of Evidence, Terms of Eligibility, Sperm Designee, Restrictions on Use in Reproduction, Logistics, and Contraindications. We also identified two different approaches to policy structure. In the Limited Role approach, institutions have stricter consent requirements and limit their involvement to the time of procurement. In the Family-Centered approach, substituted judgment is permitted but a mandatory wait period is enforced before sperm use in reproduction.

Conclusion(s):
Institutions seeking to implement a PSP protocol will benefit from considering the six major building blocks of a thorough protocol and where they would like to fall on the spectrum from a Limited Role to a Family-Centered approach.

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