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Psychologist Andrea Braverman, PhD, To Speak On Internet's Impact On Assisted Reproduction

NOVEMBER 11, 2009—Renowned psychologist and professor Andrea Braverman, PhD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, will speak on "How the Internet is Reshaping Assisted Reproduction: From Donor Offspring Registries to Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing" at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 18 at the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Memorial Union. Braverman’s lecture is the second in the 2009-10 Lecture Series on Law, Health & the Life Sciences on "How the Internet and Computers Are Changing Biomedical Practices and Policy" and is sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences.

Braverman’s lecture will focus on how—in the traditional medical model—assisted reproductive technologies featured the doctor acting in the role of the primary decision-maker choosing what was in the best interests of the patient. The patients were passive participants in the building of their families—indeed it was frequently the doctor or nurse who selected the sperm donor for an infertile couple. In the past few decades, however, options for family building have grown. Intended parents have evolved from passive patients to informed consumers. Braverman will argue that the biggest change is only now coming into view, as offspring themselves become active, seeking information about their conception, looking for information about their gamete donors, and trying to find other offspring who share the same donor. Braverman’s lecture will analyze these changes, explore future implications for policy and practice, and discuss the importance for the practitioner, intended parents, and people conceived through the donor process.

A clinical assistant professor in the department of Obstectrics & Gynecology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Braverman is a licensed psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Psychological and Complementary Services at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey. She has written extensively on assisted reproduction and the psychological effects of infertility, and leads a complementary care program addressing the needs of patients who may be experiencing infertility.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the University's Consortium on Law, Health & the Life Sciences and Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences. The Consortium and Joint Degree program are celebrating 10 years of groundbreaking research, leadership, programming, and training in law and the life sciences. For more information, visit http://lifesci.consortium.umn.edu.

Portrait of Prof. Andrea Braverman

Prof. Andrea Braverman