On Wednesday 13th July, the HFEA meets in open session to begin to decide on action as a result of it’s deeply flawed review of egg and sperm donation policies and practice. It is the number of families that may be created with gametes from the same donor and issues to do with donation between family members that will be decided at this meeting, along with consideration of the conditions that donors may put on their donation (not part of the public consultation) that we will learn about tomorrow. The more controversial topic of whether or not donors should be paid or ‘compensated’ for their donation or their efforts in doing so (in addition to expenses being paid) will come to the open meeting in October.
The papers for the meeting, only available from early evening yesterday, do nothing to calm our worries that this will turn out to be a quantitative exercise rather than a qualitative one. The HFEA were thrilled that 890 people or organisations responded to their first-ever on-line consultation but I, and many others, worry that many of these will have come from those with a particular axe to grind or from a position of knowing little about the complex issues involved. Small areas of the UK could be de-forested running off the two hundred or so pages of the Appendices, plus the meeting papers, but in the time so far available to view them there seems to be little reflection of the very thoughtful (and critical) responses I know were submitted from PROGAR, British Infertility Counselling Association, Progress Educational Trust and British Infertility Counselling Association…and many others including DCN.
At least three leading members of DCN will be at the meeting and I’ll let you know how it goes.