A debate organised by the Progress Educational Trust and the Royal Society of Medicine
Supported by the British Fertility Society Educational Charity Limited
6.30pm-8.30pm, Thursday 25 June 2009
Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE
An acute shortage of donor sperm is diminishing the capacity of the UK’s public and private health sectors to treat infertility, resulting in growing concern and lengthening waiting lists at clinics. The shortage is widely attributed to the removal, in 2005, of entitlement to donor anonymity. Since then the total number of donors has actually risen slightly, but this has been countervailed by a decreasing willingness to donate sperm to banks for use by multiple families, resulting in a worsening shortage overall.
The experience of countries such as Sweden holds out some hope of a long-term recovery from the shortage, albeit with an increase in the average age of donors. In the meantime, the shortage appears to be boosting ‘fertility tourism‘ abroad and unregulated sperm provision via the internet, as demand for donor sperm outstrips supply.
Proposed solutions to the shortage include:
• Increasing the number of families that an individual is permitted to donate to (above the current UK limit of 10)
• Optimising clinic infrastructure (by organising it as a ‘hub and spoke’ model)
• Improving donor recruitment and public awareness campaigns
• Increasing ‘loss of earnings‘ compensation to donors (above the current UK limit of £250)
• Explicitly remunerating donors and commodifying donation (rather than adhering to an altruistic model)
• Deregulating the licensed import of donor sperm from overseas
• Reintroducing donor anonymity
This event will see these and other solutions to the donor sperm shortage debated by a panel of experts with contrasting perspectives.
PROFESSOR SUSAN GOLOMBOK
Director of the University of Cambridge Centre for Family Research
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the University of Aberdeen
Senior Lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield
Chair of the National Gamete Donation Trust
Followed by questions from the floor
This event is FREE to attend, but advance booking is required. If you should like to attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org