In addition to these external amendments, there are some internal elements that invite us to carefully consider advance directives. First, distance over time can lead to a distortion in decision. It was argued that future events tend to be presented in a less appropriate manner than the facts of the immediate present and that this has an influence on the motivation to respond to them. This partly explains why people “deconstruct” future events, especially aversive events,13 psychological examinations have shown that distance over time affects both the perception of the severity of the event and the perception of the probability of the event.14 Five years, the average shelf life of embryos in most European countries , are long enough to produce this effect. By definition, because contingencies covered by advance directives are hypothetical, patients may tend not to think too seriously about them. The hypothetical nature of the events may reinforce the perception that the form of consent is part of the ritual and not a potentially important decision. Moreover, contingencies are very difficult to understand because they go against the couple`s current mental state. It is not easy to make arrangements for death when you are about to start treatment to create a new life. It`s quite difficult to put your divorce at the forefront of your thinking, at a time when you need all the emotional and psychological support of your partner to cope with the treatment. Embryo management agreements (coupled with independent legal advice for each party) are a tool to increase the possibility that the wishes of the parties will be maintained, even if a party changes its mind. While it may seem unusual to enter into a contract with the romantic spouse or partner, it is a risk management tool to protect future interests. If your frozen embryos are your only chance to have a biological child, you will probably want to do everything in your power to ensure that your right to use the embryos is not foiled.
Whether you choose to work with a lawyer, agency or purchase an NRFA embryo contract, you want to ensure that your agreement includes terms such as party secrecy, the rights of the recipient family, what happens with the remaining unused embryos, and the release of the responsibility of the donor family. Most centres respond by requiring patients to reach a prior agreement on the future disposition of their embryos in all foreseeable circumstances. These guidelines are inappropriate and self-destructive in the event that patients remain responsible for the implementation of an updated directive. Internal and external amendments may overturn the previous directive by changing the situation as it is present by the couple at the beginning of the processing so that it no longer corresponds to the actual situation at the time of the execution of the injunction. The previous agreement should only be considered binding if agreement between partners on a given option was an essential condition for one of the partners to begin treatment. The main objective of the requirement for advance directives for the provision of cryopreserved embryos is to extend the autonomy and control of intentional parents. Currently, the practice has derailed in a system that requires them to waive their right to change their minds and review their decisions in the face of new beliefs and changes in circumstances. Partners are encouraged to continue to engage in situations where it is always possible to obtain up-to-date informed consent.