In a shift in its official stance on whether women of “advanced age” should be discouraged from achieving pregnancy, the ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine now says that some women over 50 who are healthy and “well prepared” for child rearing are candidates to receive donated eggs.
The society sees it as a natural extension of what science can do. But not everyone agrees with the idea of artificially extending fertility past 50. The group’s guidelines strongly influence practice in Canada.
While infertility may be a natural consequence of menopause, the committee says that allowing women to conceive through egg donation “is not such a significant departure from other currently accepted fertility treatments as to be considered ethically inappropriate in postmenopausal women.”
The old statement, published in 2004, said that, given the physical and psychological risks involved, “postmenopausal pregnancy should be discouraged.”
While the data on the risks to older women and...