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"What is an Embryo’? Historical, psychological, and legal answers and implications


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While the SART glossary defines an embryo as “a fertilized egg that has begun cell division”, the meaning that individuals and institutions ascribe to embryos is far more complex and currently, extremely relevant. This webinar will provide a historical perspective on how the understanding of an embryo has evolved over time, insight into psychological and emotional factors influencing patients’ views of embryos, and discussion of the impact of the Alabama Supreme Court and Legislative actions.

Moderator:
Sigal Klipstein, MD, InVia Fertiltiy

Panelists:
Julianne Zweifel, PHD, University of Wisconsin
Jane Maienschein, PhD, Arizona StsU
Judith Daar, JD, Chase College of Law
Alta Charo, JD, University of Wisconsin Law School

Don't miss out! Register now and join the conversation about this exciting topic.



April 30, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 PM CST

Don't miss out on this exciting webinar! Register now

Can't attend live? The recording will be available on ASRM Academy after the event.

Upcoming Webinars

May 16, 2024, 3:00 PM CT - The ASRM Human Embryo Atlas: Getting the EDGE (Embryo Data and Grading Evaluation) on Embryo Grading

Panel discussion on the history of blastocyst grading and the Gardner Scoring System, and review the EDGE tool with examples, benefits, and the future.

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IVF-assisted pregnancies constitute 2.5% of all births in 2022

In 2022, the number of babies born from IVF increased from 89,208 in 2021 to 91,771 in 2022. This means that 2.5% of births in the US are a result of ART.

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May 16, 2024, 3:00 PM CT - The ASRM Human Embryo Atlas: Getting the EDGE (Embryo Data and Grading Evaluation) on Embryo Grading

Panel discussion on the history of blastocyst grading and the Gardner Scoring System, and review the EDGE tool with examples, benefits, and the future.

Register for the Webinar
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ASRM provides testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee on threats facing IVF

ASRM shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee the dangers to reproductive medicine nearly two years after the Dobbs decision.

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Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos are “Unborn Children” and admonishes IVF’s “Wild West” treatment

Legally Speaking™ on presenting facts and reflecting on the impact and potential implications of  legal developments in ART. View the Column
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Shipping of frozen embryos

I have some infertility coverage, under which my insurance said they will cover frozen embryo shipping/transport from one facility to another.  View the Answer
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Clinical management of mosaic results from preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy of blastocysts: a committee opinion (2023)

This document incorporates studies about mosaic embryo transfer and provides evidence-based considerations for embryos with mosaic results on PGT-A. View the Committee Opinion
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Frozen Embryo Destruction and Potential Travel Restrictions for Surrogacy Arrangements

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Journal Club Global: Transferencia de embriones frescos versus congelados: ¿Cuál es la mejor opción

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Defining embryo donation: an Ethics Committee opinion (2023)

The ethical appropriateness of patients donating embryos to other patients for  family building, or for research, is well established.
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Coding Icon

Does the number of eggs being frozen matter?

There is currently only one CPT code for the cryopreservation of mature oocytes and embryos.  View the Answer
Coding Icon

Reproductive Tissue Storage

What are the CPT codes for the Storage of Reproductive Cells/Tissues? View the Answer
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ICSI and Embryo Biopsy

How to bill for ICSI or embryo biopsies that occur in different days?  View the Answer
Coding Icon

Lab RVUs

Is there a list of RVUs for embryology and andrology laboratory procedures, and if so, where can it be found? View the Answer
Coding Icon

Embryo Storage Fees For Multiple Cycles

We bill embryo storage 89342 for a year's storage.  View the Answer
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Embryo Biopsy

Have any new codes been introduced for the lab portion of PGT? View the Answer
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Embryo Biopsy Embryologist Travel Costs

Can we bill insurance for the biopsy procedure? Can we bill for travel expenses? View the Answer
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Embryo Biopsy PGS Testing

What codes are appropriate for PGS testing? View the Answer
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Embryo Co-culture

Can codes 89250 and 89251 be billed on different days of the same cycle?  View the Answer
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Embryo Culture Denied As Experimental

We have received denials from insurance payers when billing CPT code 89251.  View the Answer
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Embryo Culture Less Than And More Than Four Days

When coding 89250 culture of oocytes/embryo <4 days, should that code be submitted to the insurance company for each of the days? View the Answer
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Embryo Freezing/Thawing

Our question refers to the CPT code 89258 “Cryopreservation; Embryo(s)” and 89352 “Thawing of Cryopreserved; Embryo”.  View the Answer
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Embryo Thawing/Warming

Is it allowable to bill 89250 for the culture of embryos after thaw for a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle? View the Answer
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Gamete Thawing/Warming

Can patients be charged for each vial/straw of reproductive gametes or tissues thawed? View the Answer
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D&C Under Ultrasound Guidance

What are the CPT codes and ICD-10 codes for coding a surgical case for a patient with history of Stage B adenocarcinoma of the cervix ... View the Answer
Coding Icon

Assisted Hatching Billed With Embryo Biopsy

Do you know if both assisted hatching (89253) and embryo biopsy for PGS/PGD/CCS (89290/89291) can be billed during the same cycle?  View the Answer
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Assisted Zona Hatching

Can assisted hatching and embryo biopsy for PGT-A; PGT-M or PGT-SR be billed during the same cycle? View the Answer
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Billing For Cryopreservation Of Embryos Under The Male Partner

Can 89258 be billed under the male partner of a female patient? View the Answer
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Document Icon

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A review of best practices of rapid-cooling vitrification for oocytes and embryos: a committee opinion (2021)

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Ethics in embryo research: a position statement by the ASRM Ethics in Embryo Research Task Force and the ASRM Ethics Committee (2020)

Scientific research using human embryos advances human health and offspring well-being and provides vital insights into the mechanisms for reproduction and disease. Research involving human embryos is ethically acceptable if it is likely to provide significant new knowledge that may benefit human health, well-being of the offspring, or reproduction. View the Committee Opinion
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Guidance for Providers Caring for Women and Men Of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure (Updated 2019)

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Blastocyst culture and transfer in clinically assisted reproduction: a committee opinion (2018)

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Posthumous retrieval and use of gametes or embryos: an Ethics Committee opinion (2018)

Posthumous gamete (sperm or oocyte) retrieval or use for reproductive purposes is ethically justifiable if written documentation from the deceased authorizing the procedure is available. View the Committee Opinion
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Disclosure of medical errors involving gametes and embryos: an Ethics Committee opinion (2016)

Medical providers have an ethical duty to disclose clinically significant errors involving gametes and embryos as soon as they are discovered. Clinics also should have written policies in place for reducing and disclosing errors. View the Committee Document
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Recommended practices for the management of embryology, andrology, and endocrinology laboratories: a committee opinion (2014)

A general overview for good management practices within the endocrinology, andrology, and embryology laboratories in the United States. View the Recommendation
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Informed consent and the use of gametes and embryos for research: a committee opinion (2014)

The ethical conduct of human gamete and embryo research depends upon conscientious application of principles of informed consent. View the Committee Opinion
Tool Icon

ASRM EDGE Tool

Get the EDGE on your fellow Embryologists! As the grading of embryos varies within IVF laboratories and between laboratories, EDGE allows you to compare yourself against embryologists in the US and around the world. Learn more about the EDGE Tool

Topic Resources

View more on legal/ethical issues
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Planned oocyte cryopreservation to preserve future reproductive potential: an Ethics Committee opinion (2023)

Planned oocyte cryopreservation is an ethically permissible procedure that may help individuals avoid future infertility. View the Committee Opinion
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Ethical considerations for telemedical delivery of fertility care: an Ethics Committee opinion (2024)

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Document Icon

Interests, obligations, and rights in gamete and embryo donation: an Ethics Committee opinion (2019)

This Ethics Committee report outlines the interests, obligations, and rights of all parties involved in gamete and embryo donation: both males and females who choose to provide gametes or embryos for use by others, recipients of donated gametes and embryos, individuals born as a result of gamete or embryo donation, and the programs that provide donated gametes and embryos to patients. View the Committee Opinion
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The Supreme Court Overturns Right to Abortion, Raising Questions and Uncertainties for ART Patients and Providers

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Provision of fertility services for women at increased risk of complications during fertility treatment or pregnancy: an Ethics Committee opinion (2022)

Providers may conclude that the medical risks of fertility treatment for a given patient are too high, in which case it is ethical for them to decline to provide treatment. View the Committee Opinion
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Access to fertility services by transgender and nonbinary persons: an Ethics Committee opinion (2021)

The provision of fertility services to transgender individuals and the denial of access to fertility services is not justified. View the Committee Opinion
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Interpretation of clinical trial results: a committee opinion (2020)

Evidence from clinical trials is fundamental to ethical medical practice. View the Committee Opinion
Document Icon

Ethics in embryo research: a position statement by the ASRM Ethics in Embryo Research Task Force and the ASRM Ethics Committee (2020)

Scientific research using human embryos advances human health and offspring well-being and provides vital insights into the mechanisms for reproduction and disease. Research involving human embryos is ethically acceptable if it is likely to provide significant new knowledge that may benefit human health, well-being of the offspring, or reproduction. View the Committee Opinion
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Compassionate transfer: patient requests for embryo transfer for nonreproductive purposes (2020)

A patient request to transfer embryos into her body in a location or at a time when pregnancy is highly unlikely ... View the Committee Opinion
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Use of preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic defects (PGT-M) for adult-onset conditions: an Ethics Committee opinion (2018)

Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic diseases for adult-onset conditions is ethically permissible for a range of conditions including when the condition is serious and no safe, effective interventions are available. View the Committee Document
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Child-rearing ability and the provision of fertility services: an Ethics Committee opinion (2017)

Fertility programs may withhold services from prospective patients on the basis of well-grounded reasons that those patients will be unable to provide minimally adequate or safe care for offspring. View the Committee Opinion
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Using family members as gamete donors or gestational carriers (2017)

The use of adult intrafamilial gamete donors and gestational surrogates is generally ethically acceptable when all participants are fully informed. View the Committee Document
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Financial ‘‘risk-sharing’’ or refund programs in assisted reproduction: an Ethics Committee opinion (2016)

Financial ‘‘risk-sharing’’ fee structures in assisted reproduction programs charge patients a higher initial fee but provide reduced fees for subsequent cycles and often a partial or complete refund if treatment fails. View the Committee Document
Document Icon

Disclosure of medical errors involving gametes and embryos: an Ethics Committee opinion (2016)

Medical providers have an ethical duty to disclose clinically significant errors involving gametes and embryos as soon as they are discovered. Clinics also should have written policies in place for reducing and disclosing errors. View the Committee Document
Document Icon

Informed consent and the use of gametes and embryos for research: a committee opinion (2014)

The ethical conduct of human gamete and embryo research depends upon conscientious application of principles of informed consent. View the Committee Opinion