‘Simplifying the system will benefit egg and sperm donors’

How do you reward a person so unselfish that they donate their eggs or sperm (gametes), are prepared to go through numerous medical procedures, some more intrusive than others, and are willing to be available to the offspring generations later?

The debate is fraught with dilemma’s weighing up the ethical standpoints versus the medical complications, addressing the core motives of donors and the unknown views of the unborn offspring.

The complexity of the issue is highlighted by the minute analysis of what words and expressions could mean or could be interpreted as.

 At what stage does recognition become payment, what would compensation be for, what constitutes inconvenience?

The most important matter to be considered are the people involved and finding the delicate balance between all their needs.

In principle we therefore cautiously accept HFEA’s decisions to compensate egg donors £750 per cycle and sperm donors £35 per clinic visit.

The simplification of the process should benefit donors and reduces the number of hoops the donors have to jump through despite doing such a wonderful thing.

By paying all donors a fixed sum which should reasonably compensate for any financial losses and recognises donors commitment and dedication, it addresses the current inequality created by not paying stay-at-home mothers, unemployed or anyone reluctant to share their employment details with a fertility clinic.

One of our concerns however is that the compensation for egg donors seems to include a higher level of recognition over and above expenses, and could therefore act as a financial incentive.

The HFEA has taken a good step in striking the delicate balance but more work needs to be done. As is recognised by the HFEA we welcome a review of all issues.