Mandatory counseling for gamete donation recipients Ethical dilemmas

Capsule:
Mandatory counseling of gamete recipients is fraught with ethical questions for the mental health professional. Attention to issues of autonomy, confidentiality, and role clarity can diminish ethical conflicts.

Author:
Jean Benward, M.S., L.C.S.W.

Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 507-512

Abstract: 

Mental health professionals have engaged in mandatory pretreatment counseling and assessment of patients seeking treatment at IVF programs in the United States since the 1980s. At present, most recipient patients undergoing IVF with egg or embryo donation in the United States are required to meet with a mental health professional for one pretreatment session. Mandatory counseling of gamete recipients is fraught with ethical questions for the mental health professional. Attention to issues of autonomy, confidentiality, role clarity, along with self-evaluation and openness with the patient can help lessen the impact of these ethical challenges.

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