Awareness and Attitude about Social, Ethical and Legal issues Related to Assisted Reproductive Techniques (A.R.T) amongst Medical Students and Interns in a Tertiary Care Hospital at Chennai
Keywords:Assisted reproductive technique (ART), fertility, surrogacy, awareness, ovarian reserve.
Infertility is an issue on the rise worldwide. Infertility treatment globally has undergone a gradual revolution
from the traditional treatment to the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART is presently the
most sought after technology that successfully treats millions of infertile couples over the world. However,
the utilization of ART still differs between various nations owing to varying socioeconomic, cultural and
religious reasons. The sudden increase of this technology has introduced numerous social, ethical, and legal
challenges. This paper assesses the awareness level and attitude amongst medical students and interns in
Chennai regarding some of the most vital and tricky topics in the field of ART and outlines the ethical,
legal and social challenges they bring in. This questionnaire-based study involved 427 participants who
encompassed medical students and interns from tertiary care hospital at Chennai. The responses were
collected, tabulated and statistically analysed. About 2/3rd of the participants were females. 94% of the
respondents declared that they are aware of ART (401), 63% answered that all the information was obtained
from the medical college. Over 2/3rd of the study population was aware of one of the ART methods. 70.8%
(302) amongst the participants felt that ART solved all problems of infertility.86.7% of the respondents
(370) knew that Spousal agreement to opt for A.R.T is a must. 90.6% (387) of the study population were of
the opinion that revealing the identity of the sperm donor would cause psychological, social and attitudinal
issues among the recipients & the spouse. 29.6% of the participants felt that donation of the surplus embryos
for research purposes was the best option. The gaps in knowledge about newer methods and procedures
regarding ART were identified. Medical students must be agents of socio-medical information and this
makes them good ambassadors for healthy living and fertility awareness. The introduction of government
run ART centres and reduction in the cost of the services will go a long way in encouraging more persons
to use the services.
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