Saturday, January 11, 2014
From Naomi Cahn & Jennifer Collins, writing for Virtual Mentor of the American Medical Association:
Jessica saw the ads on her college campus: egg donor wanted, high SAT scores, willing to pay, contact Egg Donors R Us. She was a financially struggling college junior, and the idea of helping people have children appealed to her. She called Egg Donors R Us and, after the receptionist asked her a few questions, she was invited to come to the clinic and fill out a questionnaire. It asked, for example, if she had dimples and freckles but not if she understood the medical procedures or risks involved in egg donation. She was given a provisional acceptance, had an interview with a nurse and a psychological consultant, and then had blood drawn for final eligibility checks.
A few months later, she was matched with a recipient and finally given the clinic’s informed consent form. She barely looked at it before signing; she was excited to begin the process that would help another woman as well as pay her tuition bills.
So just what did Jessica sign? What did it tell her? What legal requirements surround the informed consent form for donating eggs and sperm? Although approximately 12 percent of all assisted reproductive cycles in the United States (more than 18,000 cycles each year) involve donor eggs, and countless pregnancies are achieved every year using donor sperm, the donation process is only lightly regulated, particularly in the realm of informed consent.
Read more here.