Hastings Women’s Law Journal


Justine Durrell


Fertility businesses and stem cell researchers promise infertile women the miracle of having a child. There are, however, potential physical and psychological risks to the egg donors that have not yet been properly studied. The limited studies undertaken to date have not been able to determine whether the use of fertility drugs increases egg donors' risks of cancer. In fact, federal regulations and guidelines do not require a national registry to track an egg donor's health after donation. Despite that assisted reproduction has been changing how we conceive children for several decades, there are no longitudinal studies on donors' well-being. This Article argues that while informed consent purports to protect patients from unknowingly risking their health and to encourage trust between doctor and patient, it is questionable whether potential egg donors can truly give informed consent because insufficient research has been conducted into possible long-term risks. This Article concludes with potential legal remedies for egg donors in light of the social and ethical debates surrounding egg donation.