Ethical question.......

A fertility clinic in London is holding a raffle of donor eggs for older women who want to be mums... the winner will go to the USA for treatment to try to get pregnant.

The furore seems to be over whether women should be allowed to sell their eggs. Egg donation is not easy, its painful and time consuming, so should there be a financial gain for the woman doing it?

I have thought about egg donation now that my family is finished, I don't need the ones I have left, so if I could help someone else I possibly would, to me its just genetic material, its not a baby, its the possibility of a baby.

Which leads to the question though, is it OK to sell your eggs? Or would it lead to a black market for eggs? As infertility levels rise could this be an option for increasing egg donation, or would it lead to less scrupulous woman doing it just for the money.

I would love to know what others think about this.



Patrida said...
March 15, 2010 at 5:03 PM

They are interesting questions, however I'd like to backtrack a little and question whether women in their 40s and 50s should be TRYING to have children via this method given that most of them will peri-menopausal if not in or post menopause. Im not a supporter of pushing the age boundaries when it comes to fertility and bearing children, women lose their fertility around their late 40's/50's for a reason, I wonder how the children of significantly aged mothers feel about it? Also the risk of genetic syndromes is hugely increased so is it ethical to be dabbling with fertility at these ages?

Patrida said...
March 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Sorry that was entirely unhelpful in terms of addressing your questions, I'll try again...I had a visceral negative response to the suggestion of selling eggs and I can't seem to articulate why! Maybe it stems from my christian beliefs (but then again I haven't a clue where the bible sits on such matters) but I think its more to do with the opportunities for exploitation. I can see young girls from impoverished families being forced to sell their eggs, as many are currently forced to sell other organs. How is it any different from selling any other organ? Should that be allowed? Its currently a thriving black market, would it be safer if it was legitimatized? Im no help, I just have more questions!

Azlemed said...
March 15, 2010 at 9:04 PM

I too wonder about women having babies in their 50's or older, and I wonder if there would be a bigger blackmarket if eggs were sold... would there be harvesting manily from poor women/girls, thanks for raising more points for me, its great to think of outcomes of things like this

killingxspree said...
March 15, 2010 at 11:37 PM

wow that's shocking. I wish thses people could see adoption as an option.

baby profiling makes me feel sick. reminds me of brave new world.

The entire thing makes me feel sick and convinced me I'm never going to give my eggs out. People need to see adoption as an option.

Patrida said...
March 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Great theory however adoption is nigh on impossible these days with abortions being so easy to obtain, especially in NZ.

killingxspree said...
March 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM

You don't just have to adopt within your country of residence. Overseas adoption is also an option.

Anonymous said...
March 17, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Hi there. Well all of the statements are all very interesting and definately leads to more questions but the question asked "Is it ok to sell your eggs?" My opinion is this. If there was an ethical procedure females over a certain age, who have had their own children, who are in a stable relationship, there would have to be a huge criteria, and the eggs were going to families with legitimate reasons, and eggs were taken from WOMEN who have had their families and were willing to donate, not necessarily for financial gain, and maybe donating anonymously so that things could not get "messy" in the long run.
My thoughts anyway.

A Nonny Moose said...
March 19, 2010 at 10:12 AM

I'm coming at it from a Child-Free perspective - I haven't had children, and I won't be having children so I feel like my eggs are going to waste. This is definitely a position that someone can make better use of them than me.

I've dabbled with the thought of donating, but after research and talking to my doctor I've decided against it.

Why? It's multiple times more complicated than donating sperm, involving a significant investment of time (at least 6 months), money (drugs, doctor's visits), pain (changes to your body, freaking humungous needles) and emotion (because the hormones screw with your system). There should be financial gain for this investment, because it is NOT easy.

Yes, it would require a water tight contract and understanding. But to undergo the procedure in the first place takes a lot of courage, which weeds out the many who would think it's an "easy" way to make money. It really isn't - you don't just walk off the street, hop up on the table, extract, take your money and go.

Men get paid to donate sperm in certain countries, why can't women get paid to donate eggs? I'd suspect there's some of that patriachal bullshit entailed, "for the protection of the wimmenz". Yeah right - ok for men to spread their seed, but not for the women.

Anonymous said...
March 29, 2010 at 3:26 AM

Agreed. It is patriarchal bullshit. I too have decided not to donate my eggs for the same reason.

Anonymous said...
April 6, 2010 at 1:22 AM

It's my understanding that most women who sell their eggs are university students. Apparently, high standardized test scores, good health, certain aspects of appearance, athleticism, and musical talent are the selling points, and a young woman can get $10,000 or more if her eggs are used. The kind of couples who can afford to have babies by this method probably wouldn't be interested in the eggs of poor, exploited women. They think that people of their class and accomplishments are superior, and they want designer babies. Otherwise, they'd just adopt, wouldn't they?

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