Expanding Access to Testicular Tissue Cryopreservation: An Analysis by Analogy

Tuua Ruutiainen, Steve Miller, Arthur Caplan, Jill P. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Researchers are developing a fertility preservation technique-testicular tissue cryopreservation (TTCP)-for prepubescent boys who may become infertile as a result of their cancer treatment. Although this technique is still in development, some researchers are calling for its widespread use. They argue that if boys do not bank their tissue now, they will be unable to benefit from any therapies that might be developed in the future. There are, however, risks involved with increasing access to an investigational procedure. This article examines four methods of expanding access to TTCP: (1) expansion of institutional review board (IRB)-approved research trials; (2) offering TTCP as an innovative procedure in hospitals; (3) offering TTCP as a standard practice in hospitals; and (4) commercialization of TTCP. The ethical and practical implications of each are evaluated through a comparison with umbilical cord blood banking (UCBB), a technology that has achieved widespread use based on similar claims of future benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

Keywords

  • cancer
  • children and families
  • informed consent
  • medicine
  • pediatrics
  • reproductive technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy

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