Ethics in egg donation: Past, present, and future

Mark V. Sauer, Joshua U. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Since the advent of clinical human egg donation just over 25 years ago, ethical considerations have been central to its successful application and popular acceptance. Early in its history, essentialist arguments questioning the moral validity of the practice altogether were commonplace. More recently, most academic discussion has been focused on consequentialist issues relating to practical approaches to egg donation that minimize ethically troublesome consequences. Three issues that have attracted a bulk of the attention in this regard are compensation, postmenopausal pregnancy, and egg sharing. Although much consensus has been reached on some very controversial issues, the enormous potential of increasingly successful oocyte cryopreservation, as well as emerging stem cell technologies, is very likely to provide abundant fuel for the continued debate of provocative and contentious ethical issues in human egg donation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethics
  • IVF
  • compensation
  • egg donation
  • egg sharing
  • postmenopausal


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