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Hum Reprod. 2007 May;22(5):1210-3. Epub 2007 Mar 8.

ESHRE Task Force on Ethics and Law 12: oocyte donation for non-reproductive purposes.

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Department of Philosophy and Moral Science, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


The present paper focuses on oocyte donation for non-reproductive purposes, i.e. research and future therapy. The general principles of research ethics apply to these interventions. The proportionality principle demands that any possible harms to the oocyte donors should be proportionate to the possible benefits for society. The non-maleficence principle states that every reasonable effort should be made to minimize risks for donors. The position is adopted that, mutatis mutandis, women who donate oocytes for research should be treated similarly to research participants in clinical trials. This implies, among other things, that oocyte donors for research should receive reimbursement for all costs of the procedure and should get compensation for the time lost and inconvenience suffered during the treatment. In order to avoid malpractice and exploitation of poor women, a number of measures are proposed such as a ban on the import of oocytes.

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