Professional legislation and ethics guidelines for posthumous assisted reproduction (PAR) are lacking in China. This study aims to measure the attitudes of the general public, IVF couples, and assisted reproductive technology (ART) practitioners toward PAR in China.
A multi-dimensional survey was designed, and electronic questionnaires were used. General demographic data, reproductive viewpoints, attitudes toward PAR, interactive ability to predict the partner’s attitude toward PAR, and the legal attributes and rights to the disposal of posthumous embryos were evaluated.
The study found that the traditional Chinese viewpoints of fertility had changed. The approval rates for PAR were 79.10%, 55.32%, and 58.89%, in the general public, IVF couples, and ART practitioners, respectively. Most participants agreed that the psychological well-being of offspring should be previously considered before making a PAR decision (81.84%, 73.61%, and 76.98%, respectively). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that age, marital status, and gender were common influencing factors, while occupation, religion, and pregnancy history showed no influence on support for PAR. Males and females showed similar predictive abilities for their partners’ attitudes toward PAR (57.87% for males, 61.12% for females). Intracouple agreement analysis showed that the consistent rate of consistency in attitudes toward PAR was 65.28%.
The findings suggested that the approval rate of PAR was relatively high in China. Legislation and ethics guidelines for PAR may be considered in China. The psychological well-being of offspring should be considered before the implementation of PAR. Due to the very large regional and demographic differences in China, investigation of a larger samples of participants is necessary.