January 23, 2011
Britain To Raise Limits On Egg Donor Payments?

Allowed egg donor payments in Britain are quite low. My take: Why make any limits at all?

The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) believes that the current level of remuneration 250 per donation for "reasonable expenses" and loss of earnings could be deterring donors.

Meanwhile, demand from infertile couples for donated eggs and sperm is steadily rising. Up to a seventh of British couples have problems conceiving.

Why go thru the trouble and risk of drug treatments for fertility to donate eggs for a mere 250? It is no wonder that couples in Britain have a hard time finding egg donors. If the prices for donation were entirely unregulated then women with the most desirable attributes then the quality of available eggs would rise substantially.

In the next 10 years genetic testing is going to improve enormously in how much it tells us about genetic attributes. Genetic variants that influence intelligence, personality, physical appearances and other attributes will be identified. While many of those attributes can be tested for in potential donors without looking at genes what testing will provide is odds that offspring will get the desired attributes. If, for example, a dominant genetic variant provides some attribute a donor who has the variant on both of a pair of chromosomes will pass this attribute to all offspring. Whereas a donor with ad desired variant on only one chromosome would be less desired.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 January 23 11:29 PM  Bioethics Reproduction


Comments
James Bowery said at January 24, 2011 8:06 AM:

Since the market value of prime eggs approaches that of Ivy League 4 year tuition, there is more than enough money at stake to pay for air fare to the Bahamas for all parties. Has anyone looked into "medical tourism" connections of the guys responsible for policies so idiotic that they are justified by statements as facile as:

"That clearly becomes a financial incentive. If that happens, I think there's a real danger that we would lose the altruistic reasons for donation."

?

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