Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Egg Donation in Iran: Navigating Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory Challenges

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In the current unregulated market for egg donation in Iran, a broker reveals that donors receive between 17 to 20 million tomans per donation. The Ministry of Health has announced a temporary ban on egg donations in new fertility centers to address legal challenges. A report by Tasnim News Agency highlights the significant involvement of unqualified individuals in health services, offering improper nutritional advice, selling dubious weight-loss teas and height-increasing drugs, and even promoting cosmetic procedures in salons. Among these activities, some online platforms encourage women to donate eggs, promising substantial earnings.

Eggs donation brokers set criteria for donors, including being under 33, married or divorced, healthy, free from blood disorders, having adequate ovarian reserve, and testing negative for addiction, with spousal consent required. These brokers claim the egg retrieval process, supervised by a doctor in a medical center, takes about two weeks with three visits. The broker further explains that egg donors are paid 17 to 20 million tomans per cycle, depending on their physical condition. Attractive and tall women may receive higher payments, as these traits can influence the genetics of the resulting child.

Ethical and Legal Challenges in a Regulatory Void on Egg Donation

Egg donation aims to help women with ovarian failure or other issues preventing natural conception. In this process, an egg from another woman is fertilized with the sperm of the infertile woman’s husband in a lab and then implanted in her uterus. However, the practice faces numerous ethical and legal challenges. There are concerns about the donor’s informed and voluntary consent, as financial incentives may compromise this.

The anonymity of genetic parents also raises potential issues for the offspring’s right to know their biological origins. Despite its common occurrence in fertility clinics, the legal framework governing eggs donation in Iran is inadequate. The only existing law is the 2003 “Law on the Method of Donating Embryos to Infertile Couples,” which does not cover egg donation specifically. Consequently, current practices rely on religious decrees and judicial approvals.

Egg Donation

Iran Drafts New Legislation to Regulate Egg Donation and Address Legal Gaps

To address these challenges, the Ministry of Health is drafting a bill to regulate eggs donation, focusing on legal and medical aspects. Dr. Saeed Karimi, Deputy Minister of Health, stated that while embryo donation has been legally established for over 20 years, egg donation still lacks specific legislation. The proposed bill, which needs parliamentary approval, aims to address these legal gaps and ensure donor and recipient protection.

Dr. Karimi highlighted that egg donation can create kinship ties, raising issues such as inheritance rights. While the medical and technical aspects are managed by the Ministry of Health, the legal and ethical implications require broader legislative action. Egg donation remains a critical need in society, and proper regulation is essential to address associated challenges.


Resource: Tasnim News Agency, June 06, 2024

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