Journal article

The Ethics of Fertility Preservation for Paediatric Cancer Patients: From Offer to Rebuttable Presumption

Rosalind McDougall

Bioethics | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2015


Given advances in the science of fertility preservation and the link between fertility choices and wellbeing, it is time to reframe our ethical thinking around fertility preservation procedures for children and young people with cancer. The current framing of fertility preservation as a possible offer may no longer be universally appropriate. There is an increasingly pressing need to discuss the ethics of failing to preserve fertility, particularly for patient groups for whom established techniques exist. I argue that the starting point for deliberating about a particular patient should be a rebuttable presumption that fertility preservation ought to be attempted. Consideration of the harms ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Clare Delany, Lynn Gillam and audiences at the International Association for Bioethics conference in Mexico City 2014 and the National Paediatric Bioethics Conference in Melbourne 2014 for their helpful feedback on an earlier draft of this paper. I am also indebted to Lauren Notini for research assistance and to Harene Ranjithakumaran for help with additional references. This work was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE120100488).