Impracticality of Egg Donor Recruitment in the Absence of Compensation
Cell stem cell (Impact Factor: 22.27). 10/2011; 9(4):293-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2011.08.002
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- "donation should be exclusively based on charitable motives, i.e., the wish to help others. Since this model generally fails to recruit a sufficient number of donors, financial incentives (payment) have been suggested as a mean of boosting numbers (Egli et al. 2011). This seems a strange reaction; if altruism is the right model from an ethical point of view, the obvious response would be to find out what goes wrong in the present model and to try to make it more effective and efficient. "
ABSTRACT: This paper explores problems associated with using altruism as the central value in gamete donation, and in doing so draws on empirical data that sheds light on why gamete donors choose to donate. Donation of bodily material is, arguably, supposed to be motivated by altruism, and this is the view taken by many European governments. Other values are often ignored or rejected as morally inappropriate. This paper analyses some conceptual and practical problems with the use of altruism as the motivation to determine moral acceptability-drawing on empirical data that suggests gamete donors are not motivated purely by altruism, and that motivations are in fact quite complex. Two problems are first analysed: (1) how do we distinguish altruistic from non-altruistic donations and (2) how do we distinguish between removing barriers and providing incentives. A final question, triggered by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report, is whether the meaning of the payment should be decided on the basis of an a priori definition or on the basis of the donors' subjective experience. It is concluded that there are different legitimate core values in donation, which should be balanced. In order to value the good generated by donation, donors with mixed motives should be accepted, as long as helping others is an important motive and also features in their motivation.
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- "The growing demand for human eggs for research has provoked numerous debates over the social and ethical challenges involved in acquiring those eggs (Mertes & Pennings, 2007; Haimes et al., 2012). One question has attracted much attention: should women providing eggs for research be given any return, either for their eggs or for the interventions and possible risks involved in providing eggs, or would such returns constitute an undue inducement (Egli et al., 2011; Roxland, 2012)? The ESHRE Task Force on Ethics and Law (Pennings et al., 2007) endorsed modest compensation to IVF patients providing eggs for research. "
ABSTRACT: This article reports selected findings from a project investigating the question: 'Does volunteering for the 'Newcastle egg sharing for research scheme', in which IVF patients receive reduced fees when providing 50% of their eggs, entail any social and ethical costs?' The focus is on women's views of the role of the reduced fees in persuading them to volunteer. The study fills a gap in knowledge, as there have been no previous investigations of women's experiences of providing eggs for research under such circumstances. This was an interview-based study, designed to gain understanding of the volunteers' perspectives. The main findings are that the interviewees' primary goal is to have a baby; they volunteered to provide eggs for research in order to access cheaper treatment in a context where private IVF fees are high, there is insufficient state funding, and providing eggs for other couples' treatment was deemed unacceptable. Interviewees welcomed the scheme, but were not volunteering entirely under circumstances of their choosing; they would prefer not to provide eggs during their own IVF treatment and under certain circumstances change their minds about so doing. In conclusion, reduced fees, although an important factor, do not act as an undue inducement in persuading volunteers to act against their own interests.
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- "The interest in benefitting from reduced fees also suggests that NESR volunteers are not succumbing to appeals to 'gendered altruism' (Plows, 2011:51) and thinking they should 'gift' their eggs. Rather than asking whether potential egg providers are motivated by 'compensation' or 'altruism' (Egli et al., 2011), our research suggests these terms are not mutually exclusive. Interviewees would not 'give their eggs away' while pursuing their goal of a baby, but expressed strong values of future altruism for when that goal had been achieved or abandoned. "
ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t The past decade has seen a growth in demand for human eggs for stem cell related research and, more recently, for mitochondrial research. That demand has been accompanied by global debates over whether women should be encouraged, by offers of payments, in cash or kind, to provide eggs. Few of these debates have been informed by empirical evidence, let alone by the views of women themselves. This article addresses that gap in knowledge by presenting findings from a UK investigation, conducted 2008e2011, which is the first systematic study of women volunteering to provide eggs under such cir-cumstances. This article focuses on the views and experiences of 25 IVF patients who volunteered for the Newcastle 'egg sharing for research' scheme (NESR), in exchange for reduced IVF fees. This was an interview based study, designed to gain understandings of volunteers' perspectives and reasoning. The interviews show that volunteers approached the scheme as a way of accessing more treatment in pursuit of their goal of having a baby, against a landscape of inadequate state provision of treatment and expensive private treatment. The process of deciding to volunteer raised a wide range of uncertainties about the consequent gains and losses, for women already in the uncertain world of the 'IVF roll-ercoaster'. However, interviewees preferred to have the option of the NESR, than not, and they juggled the numerous uncertainties with skill and resilience. The article is as revealing of the ongoing challenges of the UK IVF bio-economy as it is of egg provision. This article adds to the growing body of knowledge of the contributions of tissue providers to the global bio-economy. It also contributes to several areas of wider sociological interest, including debates on the social management of 'uncertainty' and discussions at the interface of sociology and ethics.