Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paying Gamete Donors in the UK

The UK's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has just approved a major change in gamete-donor compensation policy. Previously, sperm and egg donors could be compensated up to £61.28 per day in lost earnings, with an overall cap of £250 for each donation. They could also be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, such as travel costs. Under the new regime, donors will instead receive fixed sums: £35 per donation for sperm donors, £750 per donation for egg donors. Donors who incur "excessive expenses" by, e.g., traveling long distances, will be eligible for additional reimbursement, but such expense-based reimbursement will no longer be the norm. Donors from other countries won't be eligible for travel expenses. The HFEA announcement is here. BioNews has some nice coverage. Note: these are donors for reproductive purposes. The UK doesn't pay people who donate gametes for research purposes, though a recent report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics recommends that research egg donors be paid.

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