Women who undergo hormonal induction to generate oocytes specifically for research purposes (such as for nuclear transfer) should be reimbursed only for direct expenses incurred as a result of the procedure, as determined by an Institutional Review Board. No cash or in kind payments should be provided for donating oocytes for research purposes. Similarly, no payments should be made for donations of sperm for research purposes or of somatic cells for use in nuclear transfer.
This recommendation should not be interpreted as a commentary on commercial IVF practices, but as a narrow policy position specifically with respect to hES cell research. Furthermore, as with all the policies recommended by the committee, this policy should be regularly reviewed and reconsidered as the field matures and the experiences under other policies can be evaluated.
It is widely accepted that, whenever possible, donors’ decisions to dispose of their blastocysts should be made separately from their decisions to donate them for research. Potential donors should be allowed to provide blastocysts for research only if they have decided to have those blastocysts discarded instead of donating them to another couple or storing them.
Consent for blastocyst donation should be obtained from each donor at the time of donation. Even people who have given prior indication of their intent to donate to research any blastocysts that remain after clinical care should nonetheless give informed consent at the time of donation. Donors should be informed that they retain the right to withdraw consent until the blastocysts are actually used in cell line derivation.
The current regulatory system specifies basic elements of information that must be provided to prospective participants during the informed consent process. In the context of donation for research, disclosure should ensure that potential donors understand the risks involved, if any. Potential donors should be told of all options concerning the handling and disposition of their blastocysts, including freezing for later use, donation to others for reproductive use, research use, or disposing of them in accordance with the facility’s policies and practices. To the extent possible, potential donors should be informed of the array of future research uses before giving consent to donate blastocysts for research. Comprehensive information should be provided to all donors that is readily accessible and at a level that will facilitate an informed decision. Written informed consent should be obtained from all those who elect to donate blastocysts or gametes.
Clinical facilities that provide assisted reproductive technology services are obligated to protect the rights and safety of their patients and to behave in an ethical