In Vitro Fertilization Informed Consent: Revisited, Empirically

In Vitro Fertilization Informed Consent: Revisited, Empirically
Ilona Voskoboynikov-Ugortsev, Yaakov Rosenfeld, Lital Keinan Boker
The Israel Medical Association journal, November 2020; 11(22) pp 681-683
Open Access
Abstract
Background
A thorough informed consent (IC) process is required before in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments can begin because these treatments are by and large elective and they have expectable and preventable complications, such as ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome and multi-fetal pregnancies.
Objectives
To empirically examine whether patient knowledge and understanding of potential hazards associated with IVF treatment are better after the IC process compared to before. The authors hypothesized that patients’ better understanding of potential complications would be translated and expressed as rational choices of treatment alternatives.Z
Methods
Responses of 48 IVF patients after IC process (study group) from two IVF units in northern Israel were compared to those of 46 patients before IVF (control group). Only women undergoing IVF for first time who were older than 18 years of age were eligible for the study.
Results
Socio-demographic parameters were found to be quite similar between the study group and the control group. Contrary to our expectations, in the study group 12 women (25.5%) considered delivery of a single baby as their optimal result, compared to 15 (32.6%) in the control group. Furthermore, preferences shifted toward triplets: eight patients (17%) after IC considered this option as their best result, compared to only five patients (11%) before IC.
Conclusions
IC process goals are not achieved under current practices, at least as far as IVF treatment are concerned. New tools and incentives should be implemented to meet the requirements dictated by the laws regarding patient rights.

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