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Old consent and new developments: health professionals should ask and not presume

Old consent and new developments: health professionals should ask and not presume
Old consent and new developments: health professionals should ask and not presume

We thank Lucy Frith for her thought-provoking response1 to our paper, where we argued that it would be ethically acceptable to contact an anonymous egg donor to help facilitate diagnostic genetic testing for a donor-conceived child.2 While we read Frith’s commentary with interest, we still think that the egg donor should be contacted in the case that we describe. Frith raises concerns as to whether contact would constitute ‘overriding consent’, thus ’potentially set(ting) a dangerous precedent’ for existing gamete donors and donor-conceived children. In contrast, we consider that contacting the egg donor would not override her consent, as her views on contact in the instance that has now arisen were never sought. Our view is that given we do not currently know what she might want, contacting her is a more legitimate way of respecting her autonomy than trying to anticipate her likely answer. We strongly agree with Frith’s suggestion that future consent discussions around gamete donation should make explicit ‘the possibility of being contacted in the future if there is a relevant reason for doing so’.
1473-4257
Horton, Rachel
f79e8b73-2edc-47aa-b29a-1801ad10fe6b
Fenwick, Angela
95a1f4fa-7f6f-4c07-a93b-9ea39c231c31
Lucassen, Anneke
2eb85efc-c6e8-4c3f-b963-0290f6c038a5
Horton, Rachel
f79e8b73-2edc-47aa-b29a-1801ad10fe6b
Fenwick, Angela
95a1f4fa-7f6f-4c07-a93b-9ea39c231c31
Lucassen, Anneke
2eb85efc-c6e8-4c3f-b963-0290f6c038a5

Horton, Rachel, Fenwick, Angela and Lucassen, Anneke (2019) Old consent and new developments: health professionals should ask and not presume. Journal of Medical Ethics, 2019. (doi:10.1136/medethics-2019-105868).

Record type: Letter

Abstract


We thank Lucy Frith for her thought-provoking response1 to our paper, where we argued that it would be ethically acceptable to contact an anonymous egg donor to help facilitate diagnostic genetic testing for a donor-conceived child.2 While we read Frith’s commentary with interest, we still think that the egg donor should be contacted in the case that we describe. Frith raises concerns as to whether contact would constitute ‘overriding consent’, thus ’potentially set(ting) a dangerous precedent’ for existing gamete donors and donor-conceived children. In contrast, we consider that contacting the egg donor would not override her consent, as her views on contact in the instance that has now arisen were never sought. Our view is that given we do not currently know what she might want, contacting her is a more legitimate way of respecting her autonomy than trying to anticipate her likely answer. We strongly agree with Frith’s suggestion that future consent discussions around gamete donation should make explicit ‘the possibility of being contacted in the future if there is a relevant reason for doing so’.

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Egg donor response response v5 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 October 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 October 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435921
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435921
ISSN: 1473-4257
PURE UUID: 6897777c-0c77-4b2e-b85b-a793eeecf830
ORCID for Anneke Lucassen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3324-4338

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:45

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Contributors

Author: Rachel Horton
Author: Angela Fenwick
Author: Anneke Lucassen ORCID iD

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