How It Works

Jones Rounds is a 2-part modality:
(1) Grand Rounds address foundational and cutting edge legal and ethical aspects of the ARTs.
(2) Interactive Case Rounds involve case-based learning, with each exploring a timely, challenging inter-disciplinary issue through interactive discussion and dialogue.


Presented by Susan L. Crockin, JD, Jones Grand Rounds address both foundational and cutting-edge legal and ethical issues surrounding the ARTs to give Ob/Gyn and REI learners a more robust understanding of, and ability to meet, the unique challenges of practicing ART medicine today. Typically 50-60 mins. including Q & A.Presented by Susan L. Crockin, JD, Jones Grand Rounds address both foundational and cutting-edge legal and ethical issues surrounding the ARTs to give Ob/Gyn and REI professionals a more robust understanding of, and ability to meet, the unique challenges of practicing ART medicine today. Typically 50-60 mins. including Q & A.

Currently Available

  • Grand Rounds 1: “ART Law and Ethics: Understanding the backdrop and context surrounding ART Medicine”
  • Grand Rounds 2: “3rd Party ART:  Legal and Ethical Issues and Challenges”
  • Grand Rounds 3: “Practicing ART in a Post-Roe World: meeting the unique medical, legal, ethical and psychosocial challenges”
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Under Development

  • Grand Rounds: “Legal Aspects of ‘Repro-Genetics”
  • Grand Rounds: “Legal Considerations post-Dobbs for Stored and Unclaimed Embryos”

Interactive Case Rounds

Dynamic case-based learning modules on a specific inter-disciplinary topic designed to foster active engagement among participants and meet many ACGME requirements. Each module includes a short expert presentation on relevant background legal and ethical principles, case presentation, small and large group discussion, and wrap-up guidance for facing similar practice challenges. Designed for REI Fellows and ART Professionals, certain modules are adaptable for Ob/Gyn, Family Medicine, and other residency programs and professional settings

Currently Available

  • Skills for Navigating post-Dobbs Legal Minefields in ART: Addresses specific issues re: embryo use, storage and dispositions, surrogacy and other 3rd-Party ART arrangements and more.
  • Fertility Preservation/Oncofertility: The legal and ethical issues, interests and potential conflicts arising during a woman’s cancer diagnosis and urgent need to consider fertility preservation options.
    • Based on actual legal cases that reached contradictory conclusions.
  • Posthumous Reproduction: The legal and ethical issues, interests and potential conflicts following a man’s unanticipated death.
    • Identifies 4 impacted groups: the deceased; his surviving partner; his parents; and medical personnel called in to retrieve and preserve his sperm for future procreative use.
    • Based on court cases that reached opposite legal conclusions.
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Under Development

    • Embryo disposition: program preparedness and protocols
    • Surrogacy: understanding multiple patient dynamics and complex issues
    • Gamete and embryo donation
    • Repro-genetics
    • Same-sex patients
    • Transgender patients
    • Program specific suggested topics


“…Jones Rounds yesterday was one of the most engaging and interesting discussions and it sparked a lot of talk even today. This is a WONDERFUL didactic idea – Thank you again!!”
Eve Feinberg, MD, REI Fellowship Program Director; Associate Prof., Dept. of Ob/Gyn Northwestern U. Feinberg School of Medicine

“It was a great session… our fellows really enjoyed it and learned a lot… understanding the complexities of reproductive rights is an essential part of training the next generation of providers and a critical component of our own ongoing learning.”
Ruth Lathi, MD, Prof., Ob/Gyn; Director, REI Fellowship Program; RPL Program; Stanford University

 “Jones Rounds are superb-I am certain how pleased Dr Howard would be—far ranging impact.”
Thomas Toth, MD, Associate Prof. of Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School; Founding Director, Massachusetts General Hospital IVF

Very unique educational opportunity, one of the only opportunities we’ve had to discuss
legal precedent

Thinking through the “beyond medical” – legal, ethical, human implications of these
extraordinary situations

National leaders in field giving very specific real-world examples and making one think
through this

Opportunity to consider complex medical and legal circumstances related to fertility
preservation in an intelligent, diverse discussion group

...very informative...will change how I counsel patients– hearing from more than one
academic practice [combined didactics] was helpful

Dr. Jones interview on the origins of the ASRM Ethics Committee, 2015

Louise Brown, Susan Crockin, & Elizabeth Carr, 2017

The Origins of Jones Rounds

By Susan L. Crockin

As the ARTs continually expand both the opportunities and challenges for those who work to make previously inconceivable families both possible and secure, the idea of Jones Rounds emerged as a way to both honor the late Howard W. Jones, Jr., MD. (1910-2015) and, more importantly, further his legacy of teaching through spirited, interactive and interdisciplinary exchanges of ideas to a new generation of REI Fellows and others.  Jones Rounds, including footage from my two days of interviews with him in 2015, strives to capture and share his unparalleled curiosity and passion for learning and advancing all aspects of the ARTs.

Often called the “father of IVF,” Dr. Howard (as he was known by all who trained under him and his late wife and career partner, “Dr. Georgeanna”) was an ethical visionary as well as a medical pioneer in his lifelong approach to reproductive medicine. In 1978, after being mandatorily retired from Johns Hopkins, he and Dr. Georgeanna were persuaded to defer a well-earned retirement and instead chair the Ob/Gyn department at the newly established Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, VA. Arriving as Louise Brown was born in the UK, they quickly established the Jones Institute of Reproductive Medicine at EVMS, and were responsible for the first US IVF baby, Elizabeth Carr, in 1981.

In 1984, Dr. Howard urged the American Fertility Society (now the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)) to create an Ethics Committee, became its first chair, and oversaw the Committee’s inaugural publication, “Ethical Considerations of the New Assisted Reproductive Technologies.” The committee’s definition of an IVF embryo as a unique entity “deserving of special respect” due to its unique ability to form a human being, was adopted in the first US court case resolving a frozen embryo dispute, Davis v. Davis (Tenn. 1992), and continues to shape the legal frameworks for the ARTs today.  Up until his death at 104 in 2015, Dr. Howard remained a passionate and impactful voice on the medical, legal and ethical aspects of IVF and its progeny

In 1986, I had the privilege of meeting both Drs. Jones, and over the next three decades to work with him. In 1990, as the country’s first frozen embryo divorce dispute was erupting, he encouraged my decision to start a legal column for the medical community explaining how the law was reacting to and shaping the ARTS. “Legally Speaking: a column highlighting recent court decisions affecting the Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the families they create,” has run in ASRM (then AFS) News since that time.

Over the next two decades, Dr. Howard and I co-authored a number of articles, and one book, on interdisciplinary issues related to the ARTs, including access to care. On what became annual trips to Norfolk to lecture to the EVMS embryology masters students, we would carry on lively discussions over tough, thought-provoking ART issues large and small. And whether in the lecture hall, afterwards at his desk, or over the phone, I knew his baritone voice was always the beginning of a fascinating, imaginative, and wide-ranging debate over critical issues surrounding the ARTs.  In 2010 we co-authored the textbook, Legal Conceptions: the evolving law and policy of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Johns Hopkins 2010).  Dr. Howard’s introduction to each substantive legal chapter reveals his remarkable insights on the legal issues of the ARTs.

In 2015, he agreed to be interviewed, giving me the privilege of spending two days asking him about his work, his life, and his views of IVF and the ARTs, past, present and future. Until his death, Dr. Howard continued to be a passionate and impactful voice on emerging legal, ethical and policy perspectives – including the serious health risks of multi-fetal pregnancies for both mothers and children, insurance coverage for infertility treatments, and the impact on IVF of so-called “personhood” initiatives.

An undergraduate student of Robert Frost at Amherst College, he was fond of often reciting one particular poem of his:

“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost, 1916

For those, like myself, who had the “less traveled” privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Howard, it has, indeed, made all the difference. I hope Jones Rounds will give future physicians a small opportunity to share in that legacy.


Why Jones Rounds? Let’s talk more about the program.

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