Ethics. Research. Community.

Assessing the influence of payment on motivations of women participating as oocyte donors.

Gynecologic and obstetric investigation. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
We report on the motivations of potential ovum donors entering an assisted reproduction program and discuss the potential ramifications of escalating payments to donors. From July 1995 to July 1998, recruitment of ovum donors was directed at healthy women between 21 and 34 years of age. Financial remuneration for services rendered was USD 2,500 from July 1995 through March 1998 and increased to USD 5,000 after that. Donors were screened and consented according to established SART guidelines. The demographic background of the women was similar for women paid USD 2,500 to those receiving USD 5,000. The financial motivation was greater in those receiving USD 5,000 (68%) than USD 2,500 (39%). Some form of expressed altruism was similarly present in both groups (USD 5,000 90%, and USD 2,500 91%). However, altruism expressed as the sole motivation occurred more in those receiving USD 2,500 (61%) compared to USD 5,000 (32%). Financial reimbursement has escalated for the services of ovum donors in order to maintain the increasing demand. While money has become a dominant factor motivating ovum donors, its seductive nature requires even greater attention to adequate informed consent. Young donors may be unable to adequately weigh the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation and oocyte retrieval against the monetary reward.
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