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The Conversation: Egg donors and surrogates need high ‘quality care

Posted by Alana Cattapan and Francois Baylis on September 27, 2017 in News
(Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)

This article was originally published on The Conversation, which features includes relevant and informed articles, written by researchers and academics in their areas of expertise and edited by experienced journalists.

Co-author Françoise Baylis is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie. Co-author Alana Cattapan is an assistant professor in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan.

Health Canada recently sought public input into new regulations for the use of assisted human reproduction. The consultation process covered everything from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to egg and sperm donation and surrogacy.

The consultation document prioritizes the health and safety of men and women engaged in family-making projects using assisted human reproduction. It also prioritizes the health and safety of children born of reproductive technologies. Meanwhile, the interests of those who contribute substantially to family-making — egg donors, sperm donors and surrogates — are repeatedly overlooked.

As researchers and advocates for women’s health, we are concerned about the ongoing failure on the part of Health Canada and others to see egg donors, sperm donors and surrogates as both critical participants and patients in the use of reproductive technologies. We urge policy makers to give due consideration to their health, well-being and interests in the making of public policy on assisted human reproduction.

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