Patient attitudes to donation of embryos for research in Western Australia

P.J. Burton, Katherine Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To ascertain patients' attitudes to embryo donation for research purposes.Design: Anonymous questionnaire survey.Participants and setting: 235 couples who had embryos in storage at Concept Fertility Centre on 30 March 2003 that had been cryopreserved between 1 January 2000 and 30 June 2002.Main outcome measures: Participants' choices with regard to donating embryos to another couple, to research to improve in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques or to stem-cell research, and the likelihood of couples choosing to use a range of sources to help them with their decision.Results: The response rate was 57%. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents (36/126) reported they would donate their embryos to research that would improve IVF techniques and 27% (34/126) reported they would donate their embryos to stem-cell research. Fifteen per cent (19/126) would donate their embryos to another infertile couple. Willingness to donate to research was not influenced by whether the couple had previous children, or age. Women and men with moderate to strong religious beliefs were less likely to donate to research. Over 90% of respondents indicated they would seek outside help to decide the fate of their embryos.Conclusion: This study suggests that about 30% of couples would donate their embryos to research, and highlights the need to provide support and information to help couples through their decision-making process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-561
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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