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To give or sell human gametes - the interplay between pragmatics, policy and ethics
  1. K R Daniels
  1. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


    The ever-growing acceptance and use of assisted human reproduction techniques has caused demand for “donated” sperm and eggs to outstrip supply. Medical professionals and others argue that monetary reward is the only way to recruit sufficient numbers of “donors”. Is this a clash between pragmatics and policy/ethics? Where monetary payments are the norm, alternative recruitment strategies used successfully elsewhere may not have been considered, nor the negative consequences of commercialism on all participants thought through. Considerations leading some countries to ban the buying and selling of sperm, eggs and embryos are outlined and a case made that the collective welfare of all involved parties be the primary consideration in this, at times heated, debate.

    • Gametes
    • gifting
    • selling
    • ethics
    • policy

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    • K R Daniels, MA (Psychology), BA (Sociology), is Associate Professor of Social Work in the Department of Social Work,University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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