Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 43 (2):410-424 (2015)

Aaron Levine
Georgia Institute of Technology
Oocyte donation raises conflicts of interest and commitment for physicians but little attention has been paid to how to reduce these conflicts in practice. Yet the growing popularity of assisted reproduction has increased the stakes of maintaining an adequate oocyte supply and minimizing conflicts. A growing body of professional guidelines, legal challenges to professional self-regulation, and empirical research on the practice of oocyte donation all call for renewed attention to the issue. As empirical findings better inform existing conflicts and their potential harms, we can better attempt to reduce these conflicts. To that end, the article first describes the nature of conflicts in oocyte donation and relevant regulations and professional guidelines. We then describe studies on conflicts at four phases of oocyte donation: recruitment, screening, stimulation, and post-stimulation monitoring. Next we consider three models for conflict reduction in medicine generally: improved professional self-regulation, outright restriction like Stark anti-referral laws, or the use of conflict mediators, like in living organ donation. We ultimately conclude that improved professional self-regulation is a reasonable starting place for oocyte donation
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DOI 10.1111/jlme.12257
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