Objective: To evaluate the presence and content of policies on posthumous sperm retrieval at 75 major academic medical centers in the U.S. Materials and Methods: We surveyed the top 75 major academic medical centers ranked for research in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report using a questionnaire-based telephone/web survey. We gathered data on the presence and content of posthumous sperm retrieval policies on the Internet. If not published, we contacted the legal counsel, the ethics and compliance offices, the urology department, as well as the infertility treatment center associated with each institution. In addition, we also surveyed members of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology. Results: We gathered data regarding posthumous sperm retrieval from 41 out of the 75 major academic medical centers. Of the 41 institutions, only 11 (26.8%) had policies regarding posthumous sperm retrieval. Out of those 11 centers, 4 required prior written consent, whereas the remaining 6 allowed for verbal or inferred consent from the surviving life partner. One policy prohibited the procedure. Five of the policies in this survey included a bereavement period. Of the 30 (73.2%) centers without policies, lack of legal guidance was cited as the most common barrier to policy adoption. Conclusion: Only a small proportion of major academic medical centers have policies on posthumous sperm retrieval. Medical centers can adopt individualized policies based on guidelines published by professional societies.
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