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What consumers need to know before going to a fertility clinic

In two separate incidents this month, equipment failures at fertility clinics have destroyed thousands of frozen eggs and embryos — and potentially many patients’ hopes of becoming parents. But these debacles have a silver lining: they’ll help clarify the legal gray area surrounding fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, experts say.

More than 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos were affected by the incident at University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland in early March, the hospital said in a letter sent to patients this week, nearly twice as many eggs and embryos than initially estimated. A remote alarm system on a storage tank had been turned off, leaving the clinic’s staff unaware that the temperature was rising in the tank.

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