Cross-border reproductive care (CBRC) is a multifaceted phenomenon. It may involve both
the movement of patients to undertake assisted reproductive treatment through technologies otherwise
denied and the movement of assisted reproduction professionals, egg and sperm donors and surrogates,
as well as the importing and exporting of gametes. The reasons for CBRC vary between countries.
In this global landscape, the search for donor oocytes is one of the main reasons for patients
seeking cross-border reproductive care. The egg market has led to ethical and political concerns about
the means of procuring donor oocytes, the possibility of exploiting economically underprivileged
women mainly in poor countries, and the issue of the responsibility and accountability of medical doctors and fertility
clinics. Ethical concerns relating to international egg donation are discussed with special focus on the issues of compensation/
reimbursement, the health and welfare of women donating eggs, informed consent to donation, the possible conflict
of interest for physicians involved in egg donation programmes, and equity in the distribution of economic resources from
CBRC. Finally, the need for global solutions to this global issue is underlined.
Keywords: Cross-border reproductive care, egg donation, conflict of interest, women’s exploitation, compensation/
reimbursement, informed consent.
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