Fertility issues for patients with cancer examined in collection of articles
A collection of articles published online by JAMA Oncology examines fertility issues, both regarding clinical care and legal questions, in patients with cancer.
Ehren M. Fournier, J.D., of the Foley & Lardner law firm in Chicago, wrote a special communication entitled "Oncofertility and the Rights to Future Fertility."
In the article, Fournier writes: "The field of oncofertility, or fertility preservation for patients facing a cancer diagnosis, has seen significant scientific breakthroughs that allow adults and children undergoing fertility-threatening cancer treatment to preserve their fertility for a life after cancer ... This Special Communication examines the current legal framework as applied to disputes regarding the disposition of genetic material between the oncofertility patient and donor, and provides a potential new solution for courts to use in determining the rights of parties in disputes involving donated genetic material."
Along with the special communication are related editorial and Viewpoint articlea.
The editorial by Clarisa R. Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Susan L. Crockin, J.D., of Georgetown University, Washington, is entitled "Legal Battles Over Embryos After In Vitro Fertilization: Is There a Way to Avoid Them?"
In the editorial, the authors write: "In light of these continuing medical and legal developments, it may be time to update SART's (the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) 2011 model consent documents for all patients and partners cryopreserving gametes and/or embryos. ... Fertility clinics will be well served to have consistent, legally sound approaches to both informed consents and legal agreements for their fertility preservation patients to address current and future gamete and embryo control questions."
The Viewpoint by Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and coauthors is entitled "Oncologists' Role in Patient Fertility Care: A Call to Action."
In the Viewpoint, the authors write: "It is time for oncologists to engage in fertility care for their patients. In our view, a fertility consultation can be thought of as another ordinary referral, similar to a referral to plastic surgery or genetics prior to the start of treatment. Moreover, oncologists can provide meaningful information on hormone health that can be critical not just to physical health but also to psychosocial well-being."
JAMA Oncol. Published online January 28, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5611
JAMA Oncol. Published online January 28, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5609