Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Inform Egg Donors They Risk Infertility and Death


The human cloners want thousands and thousands of eggs to try and win the Nobel Prize by becoming the first scientists to successfully clone a human embryo and derive embryonic stem cell lines. (Remember, Wu-suk Hwang used more than 2000 eggs to derive zero stem cell lines.) But the cost of this scientific ambition could be the infertility of their donors.

This story published in the Telegraph deserves much bigger play. It turns out that super ovulation, the method by which an egg donor is induced by hormones to release ten to fifteen eggs, could cause infertility. From the story: "...hormones used to "kickstart" the ovaries could cause chromosomal damage to more than half of eggs, rendering them useless. The treatments may also affect the womb lining, preventing embryos from implanting...In about five per cent of cases, women may suffer a life-threatening complication from fertility drugs, called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. There are also concerns--but no proof as yet--that IVF drugs may increase the risk of some cancers."

A woman donating her own eggs to herself to try and have a baby is one thing. But given these risks, it is wrong to ask women to donate eggs for use in cloning research. Indeed, third party donors for IVF should also be told the risks very clearly. And, we must not permit eggs to be purchased since that would place the poor at risk for these consequences so that scientists can move more deeply into the human cloning agenda.

Women must not be turned into egg farms. Before any super ovulation, clear informed consent of these matters need to be given. If you know you could die or become sterile, how many women will want to volunteer for the cloning brigades?

For more information, go to Hands Off Our Ovaries, an organization of pro life and pro choice women who want to protect their sisters from abuse in biotechnological research.


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