Uneasy About the Ethics of Egg Donation

The Atlantic, 17 January 2017
Author: Chris Bodenner
“The following reader tells the story of her long battle with infertility that culminated with the successful use of donated eggs. But despite the happy ending, she struggles with uneasy questions about the ethics of the donor industry and the “massive resentment” she harbors toward her husband.”
Find article here.

Direct-to-consumer advertising of success rates for medically assisted reproduction: a review of national clinic websites

BMJ Open 2017; 7:e012218.
Authors: Wilkinson J, Vail A, Roberts SA
“Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is permitted only in the USA and New Zealand. However, concerns that direct advertising drives demand for more expensive, rather than more effective, treatments do not extend to bans on direct advertising of other medical practices.”
Find article here.

Mitochondrial Donation — Clearing the Final Regulatory Hurdle in the United Kingdom

NEJM, 28 December 2016
Authors: Mary Herbert, Doug Turnbull
“No other IVF-based technique has undergone the intense scrutiny that has been applied to mitochondrial donation. This is, in part, because of the ethical and regulatory issues that are unique to this technique. In the United Kingdom, mitochondrial donation — which is both critical and central to this IVF-based technique — required a change in the law. Scientific progress in this area has also been a focus of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.”
Find article here.

Why the lawsuit by Sofia Vergara’s frozen embryos is an attack on women’s reproductive rights

SMH, 9 December 2016
Author: Clementine Ford
“A lawsuit has been filed in Louisana by Nick Loeb, the ex-partner of actress Sofia Vergara. Or, to be more precise, Loeb is filing the lawsuit on behalf of two frozen embryos he shares with Vergara. Using the names Emma and Isabella, the lawsuit “claims that they have a right to live, access to a trust fund and asks that they be raised by Mr Loeb.”
Find article here.

Commentary: Selling unproved fertility treatments to women desperate for a baby may be unethical

BMJ 2016; 355: i6434
Author: Jody Day
“We are living in a time of amplified pronatalist ideology: in one generation the most shamed female stereotype has shifted from being an unmarried mother to being a crazy cat lady—that is, a single, childless woman. Pregnant celebrities grace the covers of women’s magazines, something that would have been seen as private and not alluring as recently as the 1970s. Gushing interviews with new mothers feature variations on “it’s the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done” meme, eclipsing women’s other accomplishments.”
Find article here.

I would have given anything to have a baby. But what does IVF really cost?

The Guardian, 30 November 2016
Author: Jessica Hepburn
“Reproductive science is big business but seems to be avoiding the ethical microscope. A study by Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine into 27 such treatments has found that 26 have no good scientific proof of success. Some may even cause you harm. Professor Carl Heneghan, who oversaw the study, said it was one of the worst examples of healthcare practice he had ever seen in this country.”
Find article here.

Are Single Men in the UK Entitled to have a Baby using Fertility Treatment?

J Med Ethics Blog, 22 November 2016
Authors: Atina Krajewska, Rachel Cahill-O’Callaghan, Melanie Fellowes
“The World Health Organisation is currently considering a change in the definition of infertility according to which, it has been reported, “single men and women without medical issues [would] be classed as ‘infertile’, if they do not have children but want to become a parent.” Although the WHO has not to date officially confirmed these reports, the possible changes have been considered controversial and provoked heated responses in other UK media. One of the main points of contention was the possibility of opening fertility treatment to single men. Before we engage in discussions about the new WHO standards concerning fertility treatment, which – it should be stressed – have not yet been officially announced or adopted, it is important to shed some light on the legal situation of single men in the UK, who wish to become single fathers using fertility treatment. This entry is aiming to exactly that.”
Find article here.

IVF clinics caught making false and misleading claims about success rates

SMH, 14 November 2016
Author: Julia Medew
“Some of Australia’s leading IVF clinics have been caught advertising false or misleading information about their success rates in what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has described as a “race to the bottom” targeting vulnerable people.”
Find article here.

Buying and selling human eggs: infertility providers’ ethical and other concerns regarding egg donor agencies

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:71
Author: Robert Klitzman
“Egg donor agencies are increasingly being used as part of IVF in the US, but are essentially unregulated, posing critical ethical and policy questions concerning how providers view and use them, and what the implications might be.”
Find article here.