Egg donors could be paid hundreds18th January 2011
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association (HFEA) has started a three month consultation to examine the ethics of sperm and egg donation.
The consultation will look at whether sperm and egg donors should be paid. Currently, the law states that donors can only be compensated for expenses and loss of pay.
The policy aims to ensure that donors do not benefit financially from giving sperm or eggs, but they do not lose money either.
The current system does not pay out for "inconvenience" and the HFEA is said to be considering whether it could offer donors a lump sum payment to cover this.
Sperm donors in Denmark are paid 50-150 euros for travel expenses and the appointment. In Spain, egg donors are given around 900 euros for expenses, loss of pay and inconvenience.
The HFEA will also look at whether women who give their eggs for donation should be given a lower charge for IVF treatment.
The Association is also examining the ethics of inter-family egg donation (for example from sister to sister, or mother to daughter).
Prof Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA said: "The donation of sperm and eggs is a generous act and donors have helped many thousands of people achieve their dream of having a child."
"We know that many people are facing long waiting lists at clinics because of a shortage of donors. We want to ensure that we have the best policies in place so that there are no unnecessary barriers in the way of those wishing to donate whilst protecting those who are born as a result of donation," she added.
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