Dr. Robert Stillman and the Egg Donation Hysteria
Fertility specialists are in need of more regulations in order to protect females who are donating their eggs to clinics and the increasing hysteria concerning health dangers that women are facing is unsubstantiated said specialist.
This kind of misfortune is not based on scientific studies, but on anecdotal evidence. Dr. Robert Stillman, medical director in Washington D.C, said that the misfortune is attacking and delegitimizing the industry.
The comment was made by Dr. Stillman during the lecture about egg donations and ethics and the general meeting held annually in Toronto.
Universal standards were to be put into place over under-regulated egg donation facilities in both the U.S and Canada.
Including in these standards, Dr. Stillman suggested that a donor registry must be set up in order to limit the amount of times females can donate their eggs; informed consent concerning the amount of eggs doctors will be harvesting; post-psychological and pre-psychological, standardized prices and checkups for donations.
It is illegal in Canada to sell or buy surrogacy services or eggs and sperm, and criminals will serve a prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of $500,000. This has forced hundreds of Canadians to purchase the services in the United States where they are found in newspapers and online advertisements tempting young women to make their donations for $50,000.
Robert Stillman said that although the donations are commendable, it does create a set of conundrums that prevents hundreds of infertile women from having a child of their own.
Dr. Stillman went on to say that couples who become infertile go through a world of hell to have their own family.
For the majority of his lecture, Dr. Stillman spent attacking the religious bias and credibility of two previous speakers; Alison Motluk – freelance journalist – and Jennifer Lahl – a documentary filmmaker.
In Eggsploitaion, Ms. Lahl’s film, she questions whether female donators understand the invasive procedure.
Jennifer Lahl said that in the United States, the only thing that forces these women to donate their eggs is the money and also their desire to help. These women sign up not knowing about the amount of eggs that are taken from them. In addition, there are health risks which include organ failure, strokes and ovarian-hyperstimulated syndrome. Finally, these women are given drug cocktails that need to be taken post and pre surgery.
The guidelines in Canada are very standard and include retrieving 12 eggs, but speakers at the lecture said that these guidelines are not followed.
Ms. Lahl has very strong views concerning in-vitro fertilization, and she said that the reproductions advances resulted in lousy medical care for female donors.
Alison Motluk, who has done some extensive reporting in the field, said that the Canadian industry turned females into commodities. In turn, this has developed a grey market making donors think that they are criminals, where these women have no choice but to sign unplanned contracts.
In a study conducted by Ms. Motluk in Canada, she discovered that there are many women that agree to part with their eggs simply because they are addicted to the high from the feeling the experience brings.
Ms. Motluk concluded that donors should get their own doctors to keep their interests at heart and more studies should be conducted concerning the long-term effects.