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Multiple Embryo Transfers: Time for Policy

Hastings Center Report, Vol. 40, No. 3, p. 12, 2010

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-02

3 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2010 Last revised: 18 Feb 2012

David Orentlicher

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

Date Written: April 20, 2010

Abstract

The birth of eight children to Nadya Suleman led to an outcry over the common practice in assisted reproduction of transferring multiple embryos to a woman during in vitro fertilization (IVF). The practice can increase the chances of a live birth, but greatly raises the likelihood of multiple births, with their substantial health risks to mother and children and substantial health care costs to society. Professional guidelines, as well as laws in other countries, place limits on the acceptable number of embryos transferred in IVF.

This paper considers the problems with multiple embryo transfers and the experience in other countries with statutory limits. After reviewing the reasons why women might prefer multiple embryo transfers, including the desire to maximize their likelihood of having a child and the desire to minimize their costs for IVF, this paper recommends legal restrictions on multiple embryo transfers in the United States, together with insurance coverage for the costs of IVF.

Keywords: in vitro fertilization, multiple embryo transfers

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Orentlicher, David, Multiple Embryo Transfers: Time for Policy (April 20, 2010). Hastings Center Report, Vol. 40, No. 3, p. 12, 2010; U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1722705

David Orentlicher (Contact Author)

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

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