Reframing egg donation in Europe: new regulatory challenges for a shifting landscape
journal contributionposted on 03.07.2020, 08:41 by Nicky Hudson, Lorraine Culley, Cathy Herbrand, Vincenzo Pavone, Guido Pennings, Veerle Provoost, Katie CoveneyKatie Coveney, Sara Lafuente Funes
The first birth from a donated egg was reported in Australia in 1984, ushering in a new era of possibilities for the treatment of infertility (1). Since then egg donation has undergone a number of technical, regulatory and commercial transformations. Its use by a growing and diverse range of social groups and more recently the dawn of advanced freezing technologies, have reconfigured the process. Given the transformation in its organisation and practice, there is a pressing need to map these changes in finer detail and to ask critical questions about the continued fit of existing policy and regulation in this rapidly developing landscape of fertility medicine. In this paper we present a ‘critical reflection’ (2) on developing practices in egg donation, which we suggest are reshaping the character of egg donation as well as raising questions regarding their implications for policy. We highlight a number of policy ‘blind-spots’ relating specifically to information giving and informed consent for egg providers, the emergence and entry of a range of intermediaries and a shift towards certain practices which may see eggs increasingly treated as tradable commodities. We call for a re-contextualising of the debate on egg donation and for renewed attention to the new political economy of egg donation in Europe.
Economic and Social Research Council (REF: ES/N010604/1).
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies