Fertility preservation for transgender children and young people in paediatric healthcare: a systematic review of ethical considerations

Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (12):1076-1082 (2022)
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BackgroundWhile fertility preservation is recommended practice for paediatric oncology patients, it is increasingly being considered for transgender children and young people in paediatric care. This raises ethical issues for clinicians, particularly around consent and shared decision-making in this new area of healthcare.MethodsA systematic review of normative literature was conducted across four databases in June 2020 to capture ethical considerations related to fertility counselling and preservation in paediatric transgender healthcare. The text of included publications was analysed inductively, guided by the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven.ResultsTwenty-four publications were identified for inclusion. Four key ethical considerations emerged from this literature: access to fertility preservation, conscientious objection, decision-making capacity of children and young people, and shared decision-making.ConclusionIn the identified literature, there is consensus that transgender children and young people should not be refused access to fertility preservation services solely due to their gender identity, and that clinicians with conscientious objections to fertility preservation for this group have an obligation to refer on to willing providers. Factors that create ethical complexity in this area of paediatric care include the child’s age, mental health, and parents’ views.



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Reproductive Controversies: Fertility Preservation.J. Taylor, L. Shepherd & M. F. Marshall - 2021 - In Nico Nortjé & Johan C. Bester (eds.), Pediatric Ethics: Theory and Practice. Springer Verlag. pp. 387-401.


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