The Yale Daily News ran this story in their paper. As is seen on many of the major academic university settings,
“Yale, for example, has its own anonymous egg donation program, called the Yale Oocyte Donation and Surrogacy Program, a subdivision of the Yale Fertility Center. The program compensates donors with $8,000, though administrators said donors are rarely motivated solely by money.”
Once I was on the Fox Morning News with the head of the NYU egg donor program. He proudly announced that NYU only paid $8,000 to their egg “donors”.
As soon as the Yale story broke, I fired off a letter to the editor, which wasn’t published. Here’s what I wrote:
I am concerned that young women in America are still given the impression that “egg donation” carries no risk. I have just returned from attending The Second World Congress on Mild Approaches in Assisted Reproduction in London and two days of international expert speakers addressed ovarian hyperstimulation (it is dangerous), the drugs used to stimulate ovaries to produce extra eggs (are harmful)and how current ovarian stimulation practices negatively affect the number of eggs available (women are not born with unlimited eggs).
The fertility industry in America is sorely unregulated and offering us a seal of approval from those within the industry who have conflicts of interest galore, does little to protect our young women and yes their future fertility, their health and in some cases, their lives.
We need to be sure that the young egg donor is treated with the same standard of care as the infertile woman. As of now, the infertile woman is treated as a patient and will benefit from the knowledge gained with the new trends that “less is better” in IVF medicine, but the young egg donor has been set up to be seen as a commodity to produce eggs.
- 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.