The term 'Egg Donation' is commonly used to refer to the contribution of her eggs by a woman to another, who is incapable of producing her own. Recently, the term has evolved to also encompass the donation of eggs for research.
Egg donation began as a noble and altruistic gesture to elevate an infertile woman to acheive motherhood. However, practices in reproductive medicine and the extensive use of human eggs in stem cell research have ensured that the potential for commodification of egg donation far outweighs the nobility attached to the deed.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
or InVitro Fertilization (IVF)
is a branch of reproductive medicine that promises parenthood to childless couples. Most often infertility in a woman is the result of her malfunctioning ovaries. In some women the quality of their eggs is compromised, which prevents them from bearing a child. These women who are donees
, are heavily dependant on donor
eggs to realize their dream of bearing a child.Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT
) is a technology that uses unfertilized human eggs to produce patient-specific embryonic stem cell lines
. Under this method, the human egg is enucleated and the nucleus of an adult cell is introduced into the cytoplasm of the egg. This is then induced to grow and multiply. The resulting cells harbor an infinite potency to regenerate and grow into any cell type. This method is mainly employed in therapeutic stem cell research, to find cures for innumerable diseases. A Fertilized Human Egg
This article aims to discuss briefly the processes involved in egg donation and to touch upon the medical, legal and ethical issues associated with it.