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.