Outrage has been sparked after a London fertility clinic began raffling a human egg and IVF treatment to one lucky winner in celebration of its relationship with an American counterpart. IVF laws in Britain are very different from those in America, and the competition by the Bridge Centre in London and the Genetics and IVF Institute in Virginia, has cast a spotlight on those differences and the moral conundrums it brings. In America donors can sell their eggs for thousands of dollars and prospective parents can choose an egg to inseminate on a basis of race, genetic history, intelligence, even baby photos of the donor. But across the pond you’re not allowed to flog your eggs and you’re certainly not allowed to choose a so-called “designer baby”. As a commentator in The Telegraph remarks of the competition which would send a British couple across to Virginia to choose their gamete: “The ethics of allowing would-be parents to raffle for the chance to choose the mother of their children on the basis of looks, ethnicity and intelligence, all I can say is that it’s something Hitler could only have dreamt of.”
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