File photo: Sang Tan / AP Photo / TT
Eggs given by donors are typically used for invitro fertilization. File photo: Sang Tan / AP Photo / TT Credit: File photo: Sang Tan / AP Photo / TT

Council: thumbs down for raising compensation to egg donors

"A donation is a donation... you do it because you want to help others"
5:50 min

The Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics announced on Wednesday that raising compensation for women who donate their eggs would be an unethical way to solve shortages, which in many counties, have led to queues of childless women awaiting ova.

"It's quite simple," Göran Hermerén, professor emeritus of medical ethics at Lund University and longtime member of the council on medical ethics, told Radio Sweden. "In Sweden, there's a law against trading of organs and biological tissues, and there's also international guidelines - the Oviedo Convention states that the human body and its parts should not give rise to financial gain," he continued.

Counties and regions decide themselves how much to compensate egg donors, but the amount generally lies between SEK 4,000 and 6,000. In most counties, there are long waiting times for women who need the help of egg donors in order to get pregnant.

In 2012, however, Skåne decided to raise the compensation to SEK 11,000, and after two years, the number of donors more than tripled.

"You don't want to view the human body as something you can buy and sell," said Hermerén. "If you want to stick to these ethical principles, you should compensate people for the actual expenses they have had, in order to avoid temptation that you do this in order to gain money."

He underlined that egg donations are just that: gifts. "You do it because you want to help others," he said.

Hermerén suggests that public information campaigns could explain the need for eggs and encourage more women to donate as a way to help people.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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