The following comes from an August 10 Reuters story.
A sizable share of the U.S. organizations recruiting egg donors online don’t adhere to ethical guidelines, including failing to warn of the risks of the procedure and offering extra payment for traits like good looks, according to a U.S. study.
Women are recruited to donate eggs to fulfill a growing demand by couples seeking in-vitro fertilization, but a number of websites seeking to recruit them ignore standards set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
“I would argue that there needs to be more attention from [the society] about these agencies, because you don’t want these women exploited,” said Robert Klitzman, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and lead author of the study that appeared in the journal Fertility & Sterility.
Ethical standards set forth by the group specify that donors should be at least 21 years old, and those between ages 18 and 20 should receive a psychiatric evaluation first.
Also, women are not to be paid for their eggs but compensated, equally, for their time. Donor traits such as college grades or previous successful donations should not result in higher payment.
But abiding by the recommendations is voluntary, and the guidelines carry no legal authority, though the society will sanction members who do not adhere to the guidelines. But that doesn’t cover non-member organizations.
“Our ability to influence the behavior of non-members is pretty limited,” said Sean Tipton, a spokesperson for the group.
To see how well recruiters follow the guidelines, Klitzman and his colleagues visited 102 websites recruiting egg donors. Some represented in vitro clinics run by a physician, and others were agencies that connect women with clinics but don’t actually provide any of the medical services.
Some 34 percent of the websites offered higher payment for certain traits, most commonly having previously donated successfully. Some also offered higher payments for educational achievement, athletic skills and good looks.
More than 40 percent of the sites also recruited women between the ages of 18 and 20.
Klitzman told Reuters Health the findings are a concern….
To read entire story, click here.