A study carried out at the Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP) highlights the importance of considering the opinions of donors and beneficiaries involved in the process of gamete donation – the use of donated eggs and spermatozoa for Medically Assisted Procreation – in order to develop people-centered policies in this area.
The study sought to see whether donors – people donating their eggs and sperm – and beneficiaries – individuals receiving the donated reproductive material – would be willing to share medical and identifiable information, and information on donation results (for example, whether or not a pregnancy occurred as a result of the donated material).
The results of the study show that most donors and beneficiaries agree to share medical information about who donates their gametes. However, they disagree with the disclosure of personal information about donors, beneficiaries and children born through this process.
Also, it was observed that one-third of the donors would like to have access to information on the results of the donation, i.e. it would be of interest to know whether the donation of their reproductive material gave rise to a pregnancy or the birth of a child. However, most beneficiaries of the procedure are not willing to share this kind of information with donors.
The research highlights the importance of developing people-centered policies in the field of data governance in gamete donation. Policies should consider existing evidence on donor and beneficiary preferences, as well as the opinions of other citizens, in particular health professionals and experts in the field of ethics and data protection.
The study, entitled People-centered policy for gamete donation: access to information by gamete donors and recipients, was developed by Tiago Maia, within the Master’s degree in Public Health of the Universidade do Porto, under the supervision of the ISPUP researcher Cláudia de Freitas.
The research was conducted under the project “Bionetworking and citizenship in gametes donation”, led by Susana Silva, a researcher at ISPUP, and was funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). The project involved a sample of 230 people (69 donors and 161 beneficiaries) recruited from the Gamete Public Bank between July 2017 and April 2018.