Archive for September, 2010

Lecture on feminist debates on egg-donation

No2Eggsploitation will be holding an informal meeting after this lecture, all are welcome to attend.

‘It’s my body and I’ll do what I Like with it’ Bodies as possessions and objects
Anne Phillips, Professor of Gender and Political Theory, LSE

A Gender Institute and Department of Government Public Lecture

* Wednesday 29 September, 2010
* 6.30pm
* Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
* Chair: Professor Emily Jackson, Department of Law, LSE
* Open to all – no booking required. Followed by an informal drinks
reception at the Gender Institute, 5th Floor, Columbia House.

Click here for more details:
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/genderInstitute/events/eventsProfiles/bodiesAsPossessions.aspx

Abstract
We commonly use the language of body ownership as a way of claiming personal rights, though we do not normally mean it literally. Most people feel uneasy about markets in sexual or reproductive services, and though there is a substantial global trade in body tissues, the illicit trade in live human organs is widely condemned. But what, if any, is the problem with treating bodies as resources and/or possessions? Is there something about the body that makes it particularly inappropriate to apply to it the language of property, commodities, and things? Or is thinking the body special a kind of sentimentalism that blocks clear thinking about matters such as prostitution, surrogate motherhood, or the sale of spare kidneys?

The related question is whether there is something about feminism that makes it particularly resistant to the body as property. The critique of
objectification suggests there is, but there is also an influential strand
that defends the commodification of sexual and reproductive services and
queries the idea of the body as special. In this lecture, Anne Phillips defends the idea that the body is special, but argues that debates about body ownership are best understood as debates about market relations, not
simply claims about the body per se.

For speaker biographies and a list of all forthcoming Gender Institute
events, visit
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/genderInstitute/events/eventsSchedule10.aspx

For information on how to get to LSE, accessibility maps and how to get
around campus, please visit
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/Home.aspx

The Gender Institute (LSE) was established in 1993 and brings together
social sciences and humanities approaches in order to address key problems
in gender studies transnationally. We provide a leading role internationally
in combining innovative theory and epistemology with policy concerns. We
provide a vibrant research environment and train the largest number of
postgraduates qualifying in Gender Studies anywhere in Europe.

IVF doctors criticise payment for egg-donation

Dr Kamal Ahuja and Dr Eric Simons of the London Women’s Clinic are to be congratulated on being the first IVF doctors we are aware of to openly oppose the HFEA’s proposals on payment for egg donors.  The doctors argue that, ‘”compensation” is payment in all but name, appears to abandon any notion of altruism as the motivation and is a long way from the spirit of blood donation, to which the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) idealistically compared egg donation a decade ago’, and describe the HFEA’s plans as ‘naive and coercive’.

They are also right to point out that, ‘Egg donation requires a complex medical procedure whose long and short-term risks in volunteer egg donors have never been evaluated. Thus, despite the accumulation of almost 20 years of IVF data on volunteer donors, the HFEA is proposing compensation for a risk whose extent and gravity remain unknown.’  That is precisely why women are who may be desperate for money should not have financial carrots dangled in front of them, in order to induce them to take the risks, just so that another woman will have a shorter wait for an egg.

No2Eggsploitation hopes that their intervention will mark the start of a positive trend in the debate.