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Author Topic: Pay donors to end the shortage of IVF eggs - Times Online July 27th. 09.  (Read 5118 times)
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Pay donors to end the shortage of IVF eggs - Mark Henderson. Science Editor.

A longstanding ban on selling sperm and eggs shouls be reconsidered to address a national shortage of donors, the head of the Govermments fertility watchdog say's.
Payment to donors could cut the number of childless couples travelling abroad for treatment, Lisa Jardine, of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority told the Times.
The removal of anonomity for donors in 2005 and strict rules against payments have provoked a crisis in the fertility treatment, forcing many couples to wait years for the therapy they need to start a family. A recent study showed that access to eggs and sperm was the main reason why hundreds of British couples become fertility tourists each month.

The number of treatment cycles using donated eggs fell by 25% between 2004 and 2006: the number of women using donated sperm fell by 30%. These trends have convinced Proffessor Jardine that the authority should reconsider its 2006 ruling that donors can get up to 250-00 in expenses but not direct.
Her move will raise concerns about a market in human tissue and exploitation of women as egg donation is invasive and involves an element of risk. In countries that allow payment, such as the USA, Spain, and Russia, young women often donate to wipe out university fees.

Prof. Jardine said that the law already treats eggs, sperm and enbryos differently from other tissues so there was no danger of setting a precedent for the sale of organs such as kidney's Payment would ensure that more women were treated in licenced domestic clinics, rather than in countries with less stringent regulations.

The proffessor also called for a debate on the ethics of sperm and egg donation across generations and within families. She pointed to a case in which a lesbian couple had conceived with eggs donated by one partner, which were fertilised by the other women's brother. Each partner had one of the resulting embryos implanted and carried to term.

Laura Witjens wrote:

As chair of the NGDT, the body dealing with egg and sperm donors, I can confirm that the number of donors have actually gone UP quite significantly since 2005, the anonymity was lifted. No doubt will the HFEA will be able to confirm this.
Hevertheless, we welcome a debate on increasing payment of donors to reflect the time, effort, risk and long term implications donors face for people they will probably never know. The challenge will be finding a balance so that it dosn't become purely commercial transactions and dosn't become an incentive for taking medical risks.
Adoption is not an option for a number of people. It's one of those urban myths that hundreds of children are available for British couples. Simply not the case.

Martin Jones wrote:

Nothing in the statement or the news story says it's intended that these eggs will be paid for by the NHS. At the moment people pay donor's in the UK even if they are self-funding - thats why there are fertility tourists. As for adopting anyone who's tried knows it's very difficult to adopt babies in this country, unlike foe example in the US and elsewhere. Here we are strangled by regulations at every turn, and this change of heart by Lisa Jardine is to be applauded.
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