Reuters, December 21, 2013
Shereen Jegtvig, quoting I. Glenn Cohen


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[...] The ethical considerations of egg and sperm donor anonymity are complicated, researchers said.

"Those in favor of non-anonymity or mandatory identification rules tend to argue from the perspective of the rights of the child that's born and talk about the right to know your genetic origin or right to have contact with the genetic parent," Glenn Cohen told Reuters Health.

Cohen is co-director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was not involved in the Australian study.

Occasionally people will talk about the interests of the egg or sperm donors or the egg or sperm recipients' parents, Cohen added.

But, he said, the U.S. has a robust network of donation banks that work under open identification principles. So anybody who wants to donate under non-anonymous conditions and parents who want to ensure their children have access can do so.

Cohen said there's evidence that requiring donor identification will lead to a reduction in the number of donors, resulting in longer waiting periods. On the other hand, his own research suggests doubling the compensation for donors can overcome their concerns for anonymity.

bioethics health law policy i. glenn cohen reproductive rights reproductive technologies