A human ‘lottery’ in which British women were entered into a draw to win a free cycle of donor egg IVF has rightly been described as ‘deplorable’ by ethical charities.
According to the Daily Mail, the prize draw was announced on Mothering Sunday as part of an incentive package to direct infertile women to a US clinic.
Anyone attending the seminar in March would be entered in the competition and could be treated in America, which is not bound by British fertility laws.
The lottery was set up as a joint venture by the Genetics and IVF Institute in Virginia, which takes in eggs donated by top-flight students and professionals aged 19-32 and the London Bridge Centre in the UK.
Quoted in the Daily Mail, Josephine Quintavalle, of think-tank Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘The capacity of the IVF industry to commodify human life reaches a new low with this latest deplorable initiative. The sale of human tissue, including human gametes, is prohibited across Europe. No UK clinic should be collaborating in any way whatsoever’.
Mohamed Menabawey, director of the London Bridge Centre, said: ‘This is how Americans do it: in order to attract people to seminars, they offer one free treatment. I don’t see why it should go down badly at all’.