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Embryology

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th January 2008.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 3 December (WA 160) regarding the lack of women who underwent ovarian stimulation specifically to donate eggs for research since February 2007, why significant financial inducement might therefore be required in order to persuade women to donate eggs for research.

Photo of Lord Darzi of Denham Lord Darzi of Denham Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The motivation of donors will differ in individual cases. A woman cannot be paid for donating her eggs for research but egg-sharing arrangements are permitted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. To prevent women from being coerced or misled into donating their eggs, or being misinformed about the extent to which their donation might impact on research, the authority's code of practice requires a number of safeguards before women give consent to the use of their eggs in a research project. These safeguards include a clear separation between the researchers and the people carrying out the woman's treatment, detailed information about the realistic outcomes of the research and the impact the donation would have, and a requirement that the person obtaining the woman's consent is independent from the research team.

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