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Editorial
October 21, 2009

Genetic Screening of Sperm and Oocyte DonorsEthical and Policy Implications

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California, and College of Medicine, University of California at Irvine, Irvine (Ms Daar); and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (Dr Brzyski).

JAMA. 2009;302(15):1702-1704. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1508

Family formation through the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased steadily since the introduction of in vitro fertilization in 1978. Worldwide, more than 3 million individuals can trace their conception to in vitro fertilization, with nearly 3 in every 100 births in the United States currently attributable to some form of assisted conception.13 Concomitantly increasing are the numbers of births using third-party gamete donors—men and women who contribute sperm and eggs to another individual's or couple's reproductive enterprise. Although inaptly called donors because gamete providers typically receive compensation for their services, these individuals are essential to prospective parents who are without partners, in same-sex relationships, cannot afford advanced reproductive techniques such as microsurgical sperm aspiration, in vitro fertilization, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or whose infertility is linked to poor gametic quality.

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