The Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the U.K. has a new plan to help human cloning scientists get all those eggs they need from women to do their research. They plan to ask infertile women, who are undergoing egg extraction in an effort to make a baby, if they can have a few extra eggs while they are at it, for their research. The “incentive” is that the infertile women will get a huge financial break on their IVF procedure. My friend and co-founder of the Hands Off Our Ovaries Campaign, Josephine Quintavalle, of the U.K. is quoted in today’s BBC News as saying, “The primary concern should be what is in the best interest of women?” Clearly asking a vulnerable woman undergoing infertility treatment, and sweetening the pot by telling her she will get a ‘deal’ is highly unethical! Professor Alison Murdoch of Newcastle University states, “we are helping them have a procedure they may not otherwise be able to afford.” HFEA’s arrogance is utterly amazing too, in that their new program is called “egg sharing”. Now that is a euphimism to watch out for!
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.