lab supervision

PUAH was the first organization to offer supervision/hashgacha in fertility laboratories. Today, we continue to set the standards and protocols in labs throughout the world. Halacha (Jewish law) requires a complete knowledge of the exact lineage of a baby in order to establish halachic parenthood. Therefore, many Orthodox rabbis maintain that Jewish law requires a supervisor in the labs to observe the procedure and storage of the genetic material ex-vivo, outside of the body.

Order Supervision

Who are the PUAH supervisors?

Answer   Our supervisors are discreet and dedicated women who are expertly trained in the intricacies of halacha as it pertains to fertility treatments. They are also required to sign an explicit confidentiality agreement so you can be assured that your privacy is protected.

Why do we need supervision? Is it a Halachic requirement?

AnswerEstablishing yichus (parentage) is extremely important. Due to fear of human error, many Orthodox rabbis have ruled that Jewish law requires an outside supervisor present to monitor the procedure and storage of the genetic material. Despite the various precautionary measures in today's labs, many embryologists actually encourage individuals to order supervision. They claim that they work better and carefully when there is another pair eyes watching over them. Furthermore, in order to establish halachic parentage (yichus), many rabbis maintain that yediah, an absolute knowledge of the exact source of the baby, is necessary. To create this knowledge, an outside observer has the dedicated job of verifying the "identity" of the samples used. On this note, Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv (zt"l) told PUAH that even if he was the embryologist in the lab, we would nonetheless require the patient to secure outside supervision!

Why can't my husband or friend act as the supervisor?

AnswerIn order to supervise, one must know precisely what to look for and where errors are most likely to happen. An untrained person can not be a valid witness to this process. Furthermore, on a practical note, only authorized individuals are granted access to the actual lab. PUAH supervisors are amongst those select few. There are currently 150 supervisors that have been trained by PUAH and are readily available to help.

Which stages of the treatment require supervision?

AnswerAll aspects of the lab work are overseen. This includes:
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
    • Sperm wash up
    • Insemination
  • Sperm freezing
  • Fertility preservation
    • Egg retrieval and freeze
  • Frozen embryo transfers (FET)
  • Surgical sperm retrieval
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
    • Egg retrieval
    • Embryo checks
    • Biopsy for genetic testing
    • Embryo freeze

Are there any mistakes that were prevented by PUAH supervisors?

AnswerTo date, almost 50 mistakes have prevented by the PUAH supervisors. In each case, the almost- error is analyzed to improve the supervisory method for the future. PUAH personnel are in constant contact with lab directors to ensure the highest level of supervision is always upheld.

When did supervision begin? What did couples do before PUAH?

AnswerEver since IVF treatment became available, supervision was required. Before the creation of PUAH's supervision services, many poskim prohibited IVF treatment altogether (see Tzitz Eliezer 9:51:4, Yabia Omer 2:EH:1, Minchas Shlomo 2-3:124, Minchas Yitzchok 1:50. Also see Asya 12, page 235 for the Lubavitcher Rebbe's requirement for supervision). Today, the solution of halachic supervision for fertility treatments has been in place for 30 years and is required by major poskim.

Do all rabbinic authorities accept PUAH's supervision?

AnswerYes. PUAH is renowned for its cooperation with all rabbis and poskim from the entire rabbinic spectrum.

How much does supervision cost?

AnswerIn order to alleviate the heavy financial burden for individuals undergoing fertility challenges, every effort is made to minimize the cost of PUAH services. We are proud to announce that supervision is fully subsidized.

How do I request supervision?

Answer To order supervision, please call the office at 718-336-0603, or Mrs. Rivky Itzkowitz, Director of Supervision at 917-975-6875.
For West Coast supervision, please call Mrs. Ahuva Goldstein at 213-840-7571.

Please note:
      • Supervision is available at participating fertility labs nationwide, pending availability and halachic psak.
      • In order to help us serve you better, there is a 24-hour minimum request requirement.
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