October 9 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 24   

Front Page >> News > Story


> News
> Editorial & Opinions
> Arts & Entertainment
> Campus Life
> Sports


> Archives
> Search Archive:
> Browse By Date:

More Stuff

> Photo Gallery
> Comics
> Contests
> Links

Talk to Us

> About Us
> Submit Letter
> Volunteers
> Advertising
> Gazette Alumni Society


Sperm donors spurt to a halt

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

Calling all males: stroke your thing for bling - thanks to new government legislation, this may be your last chance.

Bill C-13, or the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, is currently in its third reading in federal Parliament. The bill, if passed, will outlaw the payment to sperm donors for their little soldiers and also brings new licensing regulations for donor clinics.

The implementation of the new laws could have negative repercussions, however, as altruistic donors are much harder to find than paid donors, said Carole Craig, administrator and clinic manager at IVF Canada. The bill also includes provisions for the identification of the donor.

"[Donor clinics will be] looking for altruistic donations and donors willing to have their identities revealed [once the proposed legislation is passed]. American donations may decrease - most men who participate do so with the expectation that their identity will not be revealed to anyone," Craig said.

Though the bill would prohibit payment for sperm donations, it would still allow donors to be reimbursed for any costs incurred in the donation, such as travel or screening, according to Francine Marseau, a senior policy analyst at Health Canada.

"I think the policy behind [the bill] is not new. It started with the Royal Commission's report on new reproductive technologies, [which] recommended the non-commercialization of the reproduction of women and men," Marseau said.

Valter Feyles, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and director of in-vitro fertilization at London Health Sciences Centre, said research is currently underway at LHSC in this area.

Feyles reported that 150 to 200 cycles of donor-sperm inseminations take place every year. "In order to maintain continuity of service in the case that the legislation passes, we have to look at an alternative way of recruiting entirely altruistic gamut donors," he added.

"The spirit of our present research on altruistic gamut donation is to look at possible, viable alternatives for the future (to the present's), in the case that the bill is approved and the present situation will need to be adapted," Feyles said.

The reduced compensation could cause problems, Feyles said, adding it could leave only two types of donors: "altruistic donors [or] no donors at all."

Craig also said she feared a potential shortage in donor-sperm. "If this legislation passes, as it stands now, fewer men will participate in donation. [The legislation is] going to drive this underground and couples who need sperm will get it in underground clinics, where the donors aren't screened properly," she said.

Both IVF and LHSC import sperm form the United States, Feyles said, adding at this point LHSC is able to manage its patients without recruiting donors at home.




News Links

© 2003 The Gazette  
BluThng Productions