Ethical egg donation raises four basic questions in terms of autonomy, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence. These four essential ethical considerations need to consider avoiding conflicts of interest by infertility experts, egg donor recruitment agencies, donors, medical ethicists, patients, and health insurers at the time of evaluating policies about egg donation.
A common ethical concern is the quality of consent in the egg donation process. Involvement of payment and financial incentives involved in the egg donation process often interfere with the fare informed decision making. It has been found that healthy young egg donors with desirable characteristics get to offer more than double payment than standard compensation for egg donation. Survey reports showed that women who had donated their eggs for monitory benefits suffered more emotional issues and regret their decision than the altruistic motivated egg donor. Egg donors are often unable to understand completely all the potential risks associated with egg donation because of the complexity of the ART technique. Many egg donors are unable to understand the biological as well as medicinal impact after egg donation treatment. Therefore, high risks remain in terms of uninformed consent in the egg donation process.
Currently, the scope of injustice in infertility treatment is higher because of the unavailability of qualified egg donors. It has been estimated more than 1000 women conceive through the egg donation process every year. And many more intended parents postpone treatments till the availability of an acceptable donor.
A leading ethical conflict remains between intended parents who are ready to pay a higher amount of money for advertising, compensation, and agency fees receive treatment more easily than women from lower socioeconomic levels, leading to ethical conflicts.
Injustice in egg donation may also involve in terms of rights, obligations, and management requirements. Infertility specialized doctors need to follow the principle of justice in terms of providing correct treatment to their patients that implies an assurance of all the possible needful for a successful pregnancy to infertile women. But a doctor may recruit substandard donors because of a shortage of potential donors. This hampers the optimal treatment. However, in terms of donor perspective, the doctor should take the responsibility to protect the health of the young egg donor to avoid the medical risk of the procedure. But in certain cases, a conflict of interest emerges in respect of medical received by the egg donor after egg donation treatment.
Beneficence and Non-maleficence
Both of these principles are based upon the purpose to improve the health of the patient to prevent harm in egg donation procedure performance. In egg donation, the intrinsic scope of maleficence in terms of an invasive surgical procedure without clinical benefits for egg donors remains. Medical fraternity and legislative members must decide whether placing a young, fertile donor at risk for harm is justifiable for the benefit of an older, infertile patient.
Egg donation problems
It is quite clear that egg donation problems like psychological distress, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome along potential long-term risks like infertility and cancer cannot be ignored. However, medical advancements try to minimize the associated risk.
Permissions required in egg donation
According to the regulation of the federal law, no uniform informed consent process has been approved. Therefore, no legal permissions are required in the egg donation process. But fertility centers must look into what specific information donors must be given before they provide gametes along with properly informed consent documents must be recorded to avoid ethical issues.