Egg and sperm donations in the United States have long proceeded under the cloak of secrecy. Twenty-five years ago, when I first started interviewing patients who used donors to conceive a child, many intended parents struggled with whether eventually to tell their child about the nature of his or her conception. The last approach dovetailed with the industry standard that required donor anonymity. In subsequent years, my research has led me to conclude that mandatory donor anonymity is problematic — not only for the children conceived with donor help, but also for donors themselves and the people who created their families with donor assistance. After a boom in the late s and s, the use of donor sperm and eggs continues to expand in the United States — and increasing numbers of donor-conceived adults are going to want access to their biological information, including access to the identities of the people who helped create them.
The Donation and Sale of Human Eggs and Sperm (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Ahuja, E. Simons, R. Many of the considerations involved are complex matters and wrong decisions could precipitate harmful effects that could have significant repercussions, not the least of which is litigious. In a recent consultation paper, the HFEA a , the government appointed panel which regulates the practice of assisted reproduction in the UK, concludes that: i gamete donations should be a gift, freely and voluntarily given after informed consent and that direct payments should be phased out; and ii that an arrangement involving benefits in kind, such as an egg sharing scheme in which a couple receive treatment at a reduced charge in exchange for donating surplus eggs should also be phased out. Accordingly, if the conclusions of this consultation paper are accepted, egg donation in the UK will in future depend wholly upon altruistic, non-patient, volunteer donors.
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This paper explores whether egg donation could still be ethically justified if in vitro gametogenesis IVG became reliable and safe. It is concluded that egg donation would only be ethically justified in a narrow range of special cases given the hypothetical availability of IVG treatment and, further, that egg donation could itself be replaced by donation through IVG techniques. Two possible criticisms of this position are then considered: Ones based on respect for patient wishes, and on loss of donor benefit. Discussions in the broader literature regarding the emerging biotechnology of in vitro gametogenesis IVG 1 suggest high hopes for the possibilities of the intervention; from the use of the process to facilitate access to embryos for research purposes, 2 to enabling people who currently rely on gamete donation to reproduce to have genetically related children.