From 2012, compensation payments will rise to £750 per cycle for egg donors and £35 per clinic visit for sperm donors; egg donation is an invasive procedure and involves significantly higher risks to the donor than sperm donation. These figures include expenses.
The decision follows a public consultation on the issue by the HFEA earlier this year (see previous news) and the primary purpose of these higher payments is to encourage more donors to contribute eggs and sperm for fertility treatments. The figures are much lower than donors can receive in countries such as the US; HFEA Chair Lisa Jardine commented that they had: “set a level of compensation which will not deter those interested in donation but will retain donors already in the system, without attracting those who are merely financially motivated”.
The HFEA is to review guidance on other forms of financial incentives such as egg-sharing schemes to ensure that clinics understand exactly what benefits can be offered.
Comment: A report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics earlier this month recommended offering higher payments for donors who agreed to provide eggs for scientific research, as there is a preference for donation for fertility treatments (see previous news).