Heated Debate Over Donated Eggs

September 26th, 2011
Heated Debate Over Donated Eggs

An unusual debate in Canada has become extremely heated, concerning whether women should donate their eggs to help couples with infertility problems.

However, at a recent meeting of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the discussion became argumentative, as the pro and anti factions on the main panel slugged it out. All to the delight, it seems, of audience members.

In fact, it seems that the arguments between members were often of an insulting nature, with one infertility expert accusing another panellist of letting her religious beliefs get in the way of doing right by infertile couples. The lady on the receiving end of the insult argued that egg donation was in itself a form of exploitation of the egg donors- something denied by the pro faction.

Egg donation has become as much of an ethical problem for many in North America, as other fertility issues. In fact the problem could be as difficult as the issue of abortion.

The major protagonists involved in these arguments are fertility clinics and the Centre for Bioethics and Culture, based in California. The Executive Director of this organisation is believed to be highly critical of the procedure called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). She firmly believes that egg donors face health risks when they decide to donate their eggs and the infertility industry fail to provide egg donors with proper information about these risks.

Although donation of eggs in Canada is legal, being paid for it is not. However, the fertility expert on the panel refuted the claim he exploits donors. He told reporters: ” ‘Plunder.’ ‘Total lack of regard.’ Not lack of regard, not enough regard — I’m fine with those. One can certainly argue that there isn’t enough regard, that there should be more regard.”

He added: “(But) total lack of regard for the donor’s well-being. It’s simply not true. It’s not accurate.”

He also added that donors should have psychosocial support both prior to and post of donation of eggs, but he insisted that when women decide to donate their eggs they do so in the spirit of informed consent.

 

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