Sheffield Café Scientifique

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2006 03 Ethical and Practical Issues of Gamete Donation

03 April 2006
Dr. Allan Pacey
Senior Lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield
Ethical and Practical Issues of Gamete Donation

Infertility affects approximately 1 in 6 of UK couples.   For some, the only solution will be to use the eggs or sperm provided by a donor.   Approximately 2,000 babies each year are born in the UK as a result of egg and sperm donations and it is estimated that up to 37,000 UK residents are donor conceived.   In most countries, egg and sperm donors have historically been anonymous.   In recent years, however, many countries (including the UK) have changed laws to allow donor conceived people to find out the identity of the donor parent.   Whilst some patient groups, donor conceived people and medical professionals have welcomed the change, for others it has been a step too far.   This lecture will explore the topic of gamete donation and outline some of the practical and ethical issues involved.