Ethical Aspects of Multiple Pregnancy

Document Type : Ethics, Legal, Social, Counseling Article


1 Hospital Saint Antoine, Paris, France

2 Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


The rate of multiple pregnancy has dramatically increased during the past decades, along with the diffusion of assisted reproduction technology (ART). Multiple pregnancy entail an increased risk of, at times life threatening, maternal complications i.e. pre-eclampsia, eclampsia or abruptio placenta, of serious neonatal hazards, i.e. extreme prematurity or growth retardation, as well as deleterious impact on family and social life. It raises the ethical debate of fetal reduction. The international federation of gynaecologists and obstetricians (FIGO) recommendations on iatrogenic multiple pregnancy emphasizes the need for the transfer of a limited number of embryos during ART in order to secure a singleton pregnancy.