embryo disposition


Summary: Utilization or disposal of an embryo that is fertilized but not immediately transplanted and resulting course of action.

Top Publications

  1. Gurmankin A, Sisti D, Caplan A. Embryo disposal practices in IVF clinics in the United States. Politics Life Sci. 2003;22:4-8 pubmed
    ..The disposal of human embryos created in excess at American IVF clinics varies in ways suggesting both moral sensitivity and ethical divergence. ..
  2. Bjuresten K, Hovatta O. Donation of embryos for stem cell research--how many couples consent?. Hum Reprod. 2003;18:1353-5 pubmed
    ..A high proportion, 92%, of couples who underwent infertility treatment in Sweden preferred donating their supernumerary embryos for stem cell research rather than letting them be discarded. ..
  3. Lyerly A, Faden R. Embryonic stem cells. Willingness to donate frozen embryos for stem cell research. Science. 2007;317:46-7 pubmed
  4. Provoost V, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Dhont M. The frozen embryo and its nonresponding parents. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:1980-4, 1984.e1 pubmed publisher
    To describe patients who at least once did not reply to correspondence of the center about embryo disposition. Anonymous questionnaire. Department of Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital (Belgium)...
  5. Lyerly A, Steinhauser K, Namey E, Tulsky J, Cook Deegan R, Sugarman J, et al. Factors that affect infertility patients' decisions about disposition of frozen embryos. Fertil Steril. 2006;85:1623-30 pubmed
    ..INTERVENTION (S): None. Seven broad themes informed participants' decisions about embryo disposition: family and personal issues, trust, definition of the embryo, prospective responsibility to the embryo, ..
  6. Ehrich K, Williams C, Farsides B. Fresh or frozen? Classifying 'spare' embryos for donation to human embryonic stem cell research. Soc Sci Med. 2010;71:2204-11 pubmed publisher
  7. Provoost V, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Gerris J, Van de Velde A, Dhont M. Reflections by patients who undergo IVF on the use of their supernumerary embryos for science. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;20:880-91 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, this study suggests that the perception of science, rather than the perception of the embryo, plays an important role in the decision to donate for science. ..
  8. Cohen C. Ethical and policy issues surrounding the donation of cryopreserved and fresh embryos for human embryonic stem cell research. Stem Cell Rev. 2009;5:116-22 pubmed publisher
  9. Porz R, B├╝rkli P, Barazzetti G, Leach Scully J, Rehmann Sutter C. A challenged choice: donating spare embryos to stem cell research in Switzerland. Swiss Med Wkly. 2008;138:551-6 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition we identify problems within the current legal setting and suggest methods to improve communication at the interface between IVF and embryonic stem cell research from an ethical perspective. ..

More Information


  1. Goedeke S, Payne D. A qualitative study of New Zealand fertility counsellors' roles and practices regarding embryo donation. Hum Reprod. 2010;25:2821-8 pubmed publisher
    ..This study explores the roles and practices of fertility counsellors in the context of New Zealand's policies...
  2. Apel S. Cryopreserved embryos: a response to "forced parenthood" and the role of intent. Fam Law Q. 2005;39:663-81 pubmed
  3. Chen C, Kattera S. Comparison of pronuclear zygote morphology and early cleavage status of zygotes as additional criteria in the selection of day 3 embryos: a randomized study. Fertil Steril. 2006;85:347-52 pubmed
    ..However, in routine practice, it is impractical to use both these criteria to select embryos on day 3. The objective of the present study was to find which of the two criteria is more predictive in terms of implantation and pregnancy...
  4. Pachman T. Disputes over frozen preembryos and the "right not to be a parent". Columbia J Gend Law. 2003;12:128-53 pubmed
  5. Rosado M. Sign on the dotted line: enforceability of signed agreements, upon divorce of the married couple, concerning the disposition of their frozen preembryos. New Engl Law Rev. 2002;36:1041-75 pubmed
  6. Provoost V, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Gerris J, Van de Velde A, Dhont M. To continue or discontinue storage of cryopreserved embryos? Patients' decisions in view of their child wish. Hum Reprod. 2011;26:861-72 pubmed publisher
    ..This study demonstrates the importance of gaining more insight into patients' embryo storage decisions (along with their embryo disposition decisions) and into the emotional factors playing a role in patients' decision-making.
  7. Fuscaldo G, Savulescu J. Spare embryos: 3000 reasons to rethink the significance of genetic relatedness. Reprod Biomed Online. 2005;10:164-8 pubmed
    ..Open embryo donation or directed embryo donation programmes might cause couples to change their minds, or alleviate their anxiety about donating embryos to others. ..
  8. Nachtigall R, Mac Dougall K, Harrington J, Duff J, Lee M, Becker G. How couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization decide what to do with surplus frozen embryos. Fertil Steril. 2009;92:2094-6 pubmed publisher
    In a qualitative interview study of 77 families with stored frozen embryos, we found that while embryo disposition decision making was influenced by individual life circumstances, embryo quantity/quality, personal values, embryo ..
  9. Nachtigall R, Becker G, Friese C, Butler A, MacDougall K. Parents' conceptualization of their frozen embryos complicates the disposition decision. Fertil Steril. 2005;84:431-4 pubmed
  10. Bankowski B, Lyerly A, Faden R, Wallach E. The social implications of embryo cryopreservation. Fertil Steril. 2005;84:823-32 pubmed
    ..stored embryos on couples' fertility intentions and psychosocial health, factors that affect couples' decisions about embryo disposition, strategies to minimize unclaimed embryos, and the consequences of oocyte/ovarian cryopreservation.
  11. Goedeke S, Payne D. Embryo donation in New Zealand: a pilot study. Hum Reprod. 2009;24:1939-45 pubmed publisher
  12. de Lacey S. Decisions for the fate of frozen embryos: fresh insights into patients' thinking and their rationales for donating or discarding embryos. Hum Reprod. 2007;22:1751-8 pubmed
    ..The pregnancy termination metaphor emerged as morally relevant and this holds implications for defining and discussing embryo discard in counselling and consent processes. ..
  13. Windsor K. Disposition of cryopreserved preembryos after divorce. Iowa Law Rev. 2003;88:1001-34 pubmed
  14. Crockin S. The "embryo" wars: at the epicenter of science, law, religion, and politics. Fam Law Q. 2005;39:599-632 pubmed
  15. Hug K. Motivation to donate or not donate surplus embryos for stem-cell research: literature review. Fertil Steril. 2008;89:263-77 pubmed publisher
    ..Being at the beginning of treatment, not knowing the aim of medical research, or having good-quality embryos appear to motivate those who answer that they do not want to donate. ..
  16. Ehrich K, Williams C, Farsides B. The embryo as moral work object: PGD/IVF staff views and experiences. Sociol Health Illn. 2008;30:772-87 pubmed publisher
    ..This allows them to shift attention between micro-level and overarching institutional work goals, building on Casper's concept of 'work objects' and focusing on negotiation of the social order in a morally contested field. ..
  17. Newton C, Fisher J, Feyles V, Tekpetey F, Hughes L, Isacsson D. Changes in patient preferences in the disposal of cryopreserved embryos. Hum Reprod. 2007;22:3124-8 pubmed
    ..for cryopreserved embryos for over 5 years were contacted and asked to specify their current preferences for embryo disposition. These preferences were compared with dispositional choices made at the time of embryo freezing...
  18. de Lacey S. Parent identity and 'virtual' children: why patients discard rather than donate unused embryos. Hum Reprod. 2005;20:1661-9 pubmed
    ..The meaning of embryo donation was likened to child relinquishment. Counselling and social policy need to take account of the symbolism of the embryo and reform current practices. ..
  19. Fuscaldo G, Russell S, Gillam L. How to facilitate decisions about surplus embryos: patients' views. Hum Reprod. 2007;22:3129-38 pubmed
    ..In addition, the study demonstrated interest in the possibility of directed donation to other couples. ..
  20. Moller M. Human embryonic stem cell research and the discarded embryo argument. Theor Med Bioeth. 2009;30:131-45 pubmed publisher
    ..It shows that this argument is unsound regardless of how one understands the claim that embryos have moral status. It also discusses the implications of this conclusion for attempts to use this argument as a basis for public policy. ..
  21. Mohler Kuo M, Zellweger U, Duran A, Hohl M, Gutzwiller F, Mutsch M. Attitudes of couples towards the destination of surplus embryos: results among couples with cryopreserved embryos in Switzerland. Hum Reprod. 2009;24:1930-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Swiss couples with cryopreserved embryos/zygotes are open to different options related to donating, rather than discarding, surplus embryos. ..
  22. Melamed R, Bonetti T, Braga D, Madaschi C, Iaconelli A, Borges E. Deciding the fate of supernumerary frozen embryos: parents' choices. Hum Fertil (Camb). 2009;12:185-90 pubmed publisher
    ..The decisions on whether to donate embryos to another couple, or discard them were coloured by strong values about human life and equated with child abandonment. ..
  23. Elster N. Assisted reproductive technologies: contracts, consents, and controversies. Am J Fam Law. 2005;18:193-9 pubmed
  24. Waldman E. The parent trap: uncovering the myth of "coerced parenthood" in frozen embryo disputes. Am Univ Law Rev. 2004;53:1021-62 pubmed
  25. Choudhary M, Haimes E, Herbert M, Stojkovic M, Murdoch A. Demographic, medical and treatment characteristics associated with couples' decisions to donate fresh spare embryos for research. Hum Reprod. 2004;19:2091-6 pubmed
    ..Further studies are needed to identify those couples who are likely to agree to research so that counselling for research can be directed efficiently. ..
  26. Provoost V, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Van de Velde A, Dhont M. Trends in embryo disposition decisions: patients' responses to a 15-year mailing program. Hum Reprod. 2012;27:506-14 pubmed publisher
    ..examined the responses of patients of a Belgian fertility center to mailed requests to make or renew an embryo disposition decision (EDD), over a period of 15 years, to investigate trends in the decisions...
  27. Nachtigall R, Mac Dougall K, Lee M, Harrington J, Becker G. What do patients want? Expectations and perceptions of IVF clinic information and support regarding frozen embryo disposition. Fertil Steril. 2010;94:2069-72 pubmed publisher
    ..expectations and perceptions of IVF clinic information, support, and storage fees and their relevance to embryo disposition decision making. Qualitative interview study. Three northern California IVF practices...
  28. Mitzkat A, Haimes E, Rehmann Sutter C. How reproductive and regenerative medicine meet in a Chinese fertility clinic. Interviews with women about the donation of embryos to stem cell research. J Med Ethics. 2010;36:754-7 pubmed publisher
    ..This reveals that they filled the knowledge gap with an image of research improving fertility treatment. ..
  29. Sharma H, Johnstone E, Gates E, Sohn S, Huddleston H, Fujimoto V. Asian immigrants to the United States are less likely to donate cryopreserved embryos for research use. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:1672-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Retrospective. University clinic. Four hundred consecutive patients undergoing IVF. None. Embryo disposition plan reported on the cryopreservation consent form (disposal, donation for research, or donation for ..
  30. Roberts C, Throsby K. Paid to share: IVF patients, eggs and stem cell research. Soc Sci Med. 2008;66:159-69 pubmed
    ..Our analysis highlights the need for innovative social, ethical and political consideration of egg sharing for stem cell research. ..
  31. Provoost V, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Gerris J, Van de Velde A, De Lissnyder E, et al. Infertility patients' beliefs about their embryos and their disposition preferences. Hum Reprod. 2009;24:896-905 pubmed publisher
    ..All but two participants spontaneously considered the embryo disposition options as a two-stage decision sequence...
  32. Klock S. Embryo disposition: the forgotten "child" of in vitro fertilization. Int J Fertil Womens Med. 2004;49:19-23 pubmed
    ..This paper describes disposition studies in various countries and couples' actions taken at time of disposition, with special detail on the problems involved in embryo donation to another couple. ..
  33. Raposo V, Osuna E. Embryo dignity: the status and juridical protection of the in vitro embryo. Med Law. 2007;26:737-46 pubmed
    ..The embryo's life is recognized as a constitutional value which deserves juridical protection, but not as a person. It only becomes a person with birth. ..
  34. de Lacey S. Patients' attitudes to their embryos and their destiny: social conditioning?. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2007;21:101-12 pubmed
  35. Lyerly A, Steinhauser K, Voils C, Namey E, Alexander C, Bankowski B, et al. Fertility patients' views about frozen embryo disposition: results of a multi-institutional U.S. survey. Fertil Steril. 2010;93:499-509 pubmed publisher
    ..Self-administered questionnaire. Likelihood of selecting each of five conventional embryo disposition options: store for reproduction, thaw and discard, donate to another couple, freeze indefinitely, and donate ..
  36. Fleming N. Navigating the slippery slope of frozen embryo disputes: the case for a contractual approach. Temple Law Rev. 2002;75:345-74 pubmed
  37. Zweifel J, Rathert M, Klock S, Walaski H, Pritts E, Olive D, et al. Comparative assessment of pre- and post-donation attitudes towards potential oocyte and embryo disposition and management among ovum donors in an oocyte donation programme. Hum Reprod. 2006;21:1325-7 pubmed
    ..The aim of our study was to examine oocyte donors' attitudes to oocyte and embryo disposition and management and how initial reservations change over the course of the donation process...
  38. Heng B. Donation of surplus frozen embryos for stem cell research or fertility treatment-should medical professionals and healthcare institutions be allowed to exercise undue influence on the informed decision of their former patients?. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2006;23:381-2 pubmed
  39. Haimes E, Taylor K. Fresh embryo donation for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research: the experiences and values of IVF couples asked to be embryo donors. Hum Reprod. 2009;24:2142-50 pubmed publisher
  40. Stiel M, McMahon C, Elwyn G, Boivin J. Pre-birth characteristics and 5-year follow-up of women with cryopreserved embryos after successful in vitro fertilisation treatment. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2010;31:32-9 pubmed publisher
    ..5%) or frequently (34.6%). The personality differences identified may suggest that women who still have embryos after the end of fertility treatment may be in need of decision support. ..
  41. Lin O. Rehabilitating bioethics: recontextualizing in vitro fertilization outside contractual autonomy. Duke Law J. 2004;54:485-511 pubmed
  42. Temstet R, Devaux A, Lourdel E, Cabry R, Brzakowski M, Copin H, et al. [Embryo donation: why is there a delay in the implementation in France? A discussion on the practical, ethical and psychological dilemmas]. Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2011;39:433-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings propose that a myriad of factors including organizational, ethical and psychological determinants have deterred the implementation of embryo donation in France. ..
  43. Brezinova J, Oborna I, Svobodova M, Fingerova H. Evaluation of day one embryo quality and IVF outcome--a comparison of two scoring systems. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009;7:9 pubmed publisher
  44. Gerris J. The near elimination of triplets in IVF. Reprod Biomed Online. 2007;15 Suppl 3:40-4 pubmed
    ..A correlation appears to exist between the percentage of SET cycles and the incidence of triplets. It is suggested that the solution to almost totally eliminate triplets after IVF is single embryo transfer. ..
  45. Casell J. Lengthening the stem: allowing federally funded researchers to derive human pluripotent stem cells from embryos. Univ Mich J Law Reform. 2001;34:547-72 pubmed
  46. Clark C, Tonti Filippini N. "To become father and mother only through each other". Natl Cathol Bioeth Q. 2003;3:442-52 pubmed
  47. Zoloth L. Reasonable magic and the nature of alchemy: Jewish reflections on human embryonic stem cell research. Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2002;12:65-93 pubmed
  48. Dovey S. Oocyte cryopreservation: advances and drawbacks. Minerva Ginecol. 2012;64:485-500 pubmed
    ..Given the remarkable improvements in pregnancy rates witnessed over the past five years, OC is certain to play a much larger role in reproductive medicine over the coming decades. ..
  49. Valenzuela C. [Scientific ethics and frozen embryos]. Rev Med Chil. 2001;129:561-8 pubmed
    ..The compatibility of these alternatives with other ethics is discussed. ..
  50. . Informing offspring of their conception by gamete or embryo donation: a committee opinion. Fertil Steril. 2013;100:45-9 pubmed publisher
    ..This document discusses the ethical implications regarding informing offspring of their conception using gamete or embryo donation. It replaces the 2004 ASRM Ethics Committee document of the same name (Fertil Steril 2004;81:527-31). ..
  51. Dickens B, Cook R. The legal status of in vitro embryos. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010;111:91-4 pubmed publisher
  52. Petersen S. Dealing with cryopreserved embryos upon divorce: a contractual approach aimed at preserving party expectations. UCLA Law Rev. 2003;50:1065-93 pubmed
    ..law principles in determining whether the parties to such conflicts actually reached agreements regarding embryo disposition in the event of divorce...
  53. Caplan A, McGee G. Cloning human embryos: decisions must not be made by private corporations behind closed doors. West J Med. 2002;176:78-9 pubmed