Should patients pay for sperm given for free? Results from a pilot study on fertility clinics’ views on the charging for altruistically donated sperm

Emma Rowlinson (Lead / Corresponding author), Sarah Martins Da Silva, Nkoyenum Pamela Olisa, Lisa Campo-Engelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: Many countries prohibit payment for gamete donation, which means fertility clinics do not have to compensate donors. However, acquiring and utilizing donor sperm can still be expensive for fertility clinics. This study evaluates international fertility workers’ views on charging patients for altruistically donated sperm. 

Methods: Using social media and email, we disseminated a SurveyMonkey survey with a question that was specifically focused on opinions about charging patients for altruistically donated sperm. Clinicians were able to select multiple pre-populated answer choices as well as write answers that reflected their views as an open-ended response. Snowball sampling was utilized to reach international fertility clinicians. 

Results: Of 112 respondents from 14 countries, 88% believe it is acceptable to charge for altruistically donated sperm based on one or more of four different assenting categories: so patients appreciate that sperm is valuable, because it generates funds for the running of the clinic, to cover specific costs associated with sperm, and to make a profit for the clinic. 

Conclusions: The consensus that charging for altruistically donated sperm is acceptable was not surprising since recruiting and processing donor sperm can be expensive for clinics. However, there were geographical differences for specific assenting answer choices which may be based on countries’ income, and healthcare system, as well as religious and cultural beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063–1070
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Volume40
Early online date21 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Clinician perspectives
  • International
  • Profit
  • Sperm donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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