Opinion on fixed compensation to egg donors

The Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics has published an opinion on ethical aspects regarding fixed compensation to egg donors. One reason for the Council to bring up this subject is because of the public debate where it has been argued that compensation to egg donors needs to be increased.

Counties and regions in Sweden decide themselves how much to compensate egg donors, but compensation is generally given as a fixed amount around SEK 4,000. In 2012, however, Skåne decided to raise the compensation to SEK 11,000.

The Council argues that fixed compensation might lead women to donate for financial reasons instead of altruistic. Especially when the amount is considerable. This is problematic because of the national and international regulation against the trading of organs, tissue and cells, and the ethical principles that the human body and its parts shall not as such give rise to financial gain. The Council strongly rejects a view of the human body as something that is possible to buy and sell. This goes against the idea that it is immoral to use another person merely as a means to an end and the principle of human worth and human rights. Egg donation raises a lot of ethical questions and should never be done arbitrarily or for economic reasons.

The Council suggests that instead of giving donors a fixed sum, the compensation should be individually calculated based on each donor’s expenses and lack of income because of the donation.

The opinion is only available in Swedish.