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捐献精子, 精子捐献,带来的问题 | 经济学人泛读

作者:   来源:  热度:18  时间:2021-05-27






外刊阅读本文选自经济学人2021.3.06期,大家慢慢“食用”~可以尝试自己做精读,当然也可以直接泛读了解一下相关资讯就可以。这是英语书架的外刊泛读专栏,不定期分享一些

外刊阅读

本文选自经济学人2021.3.06期,大家慢慢“食用”~可以尝试自己做精读,当然也可以直接泛读了解一下相关资讯就可以。

这是英语书架的外刊泛读专栏,不定期分享一些有意思的文章,供大家阅读涨姿势~

The sperm and egg business

Swimming freestyle

America's love of free markets extends to its fertility clinics

EVERY TIME one of America’s genetic-testing companies advertises a deal on DNA kits, Michael (not his real name) braces himself for what may follow: a message from one of his hitherto unknown offspring. Three decades ago, as a student at the University of Houston, Michael became a sperm donor; the clinic would “pull me out of retirement”, he says, every time a customer wanted to expand their family. So far, the 55-year-old knows of around 60 children (and a dozen grandchildren) he has sired in addition to the four teenagers he shares with his wife; he suspects the true number is closer to 100.

“I could write a book,” he says, about the lifelong consequences of what had seemed, at the time, like an easy buck and an incentive to live healthily (he steered clear of heavy drinking and drugs to preserve his sperm's motility). Several children contact him regularly. He has been surprised by how many had been led to believe the father who brought them up was their biological parent: “Sometimes they’re very angry they’ve been lied to all their lives”. He is aware of some offspring who know his identity but have not made contact, and of a Facebook group he is not part of “so they can compare notes”. He gets a lot of cards on Father’s Day.

An ever-increasing number of men (and women who donate eggs) will have similar experiences. Because America’s sperm- and egg-donor industry is largely unregulated, no one knows how many children have been conceived this way. But social changes mean the industry is going through a period of extraordinary and unprecedented growth. Most of the children Michael fathered were born within heterosexual marriages. Today such couples constitute a minority of clinics’ customers, in part because advances in reproductive medicine mean more couples with fertility problems are able to conceive. But there are two bigger reasons for the change: the legalisation of gay marriage and the rising number of single women who are choosing to become mothers. The majority of sperm banks’ customers today are gay couples and women without partners.

Rosanna Hertz of Wellesley College, the author of “Random Families”, says the market is booming as gay Americans reach marrying age and elective single motherhood becomes more widespread. Partly because conceiving using donor sperm is a lot more straightforward and affordable than doing so using donor eggs, children born through sperm donors are likely to outnumber those from egg donors.

Surging demand and an absence of government regulation have created a field that has developed “more like a business than medicine”, says Dov Fox of the University of San Diego, the author of “Birth Rights and Wrongs”. The line is often blurred. Regulating baby-making can raise difficult ethical questions about who should be parents and who should be born. But some elementary regulations are overdue, not least because clinics are already making such decisions: requiring, for example, that sperm donors should be a certain height and educated to college level.

Gametes gate

The most obvious gap is a legal limit on the number of children a sperm-clinic donor, however tall and brilliant he may be, can help create. America is one of the few countries to have no such cap (Britain, by comparison, has a limit of ten donor-created families per donor). Many clinics have their own limits. Jaime Shamonki of Generate Life Sciences, which operates California Cryobank, America’s biggest sperm bank, says although people worry that large groups of half-siblings could lead to incest, a bigger concern is that a donor with an undiagnosed hereditary health condition may spread it widely.

But without a law, even self-imposed limits are routinely flouted. Alan (not his real name) reckons he fathered “hundreds” of children as a result of the four years he donated sperm to a clinic three times a week. Because he had a high sperm count, most of his donations were divided into 15 to 20 vials (one is used per insemination effort) and they tended to sell out. The clinic, he says, never mentioned a limit on the number of children he would beget, though he is not complaining; in his most lucrative year he made $50,000.

Beside health concerns, there is another important reason for limiting a donor’s fecundity. The children of sperm and egg donors, like those who are adopted, often want to trace their blood relations. But it is difficult to forge strong relationships when vast numbers of children are involved. Wendy Kramer of the Donor Sibling Registry, which helps connect members of donor families, says this is an example of how the contract between clinics and would-be parents has ignored the interests of the children it produces. She established the group in 2000 after her then ten-year-old son, conceived using donor sperm, had become curious about his wider family. Last month he learned of the existence of two new half-siblings, bringing the tally to 22. Ms Kramer had been told her sperm donor would father no more than ten children, a limit she considers sensible.

Related to this is the issue of anonymity. Most sperm clinics in America offer donors the option of remaining anonymous until a child is 18, or for ever. But because donor-conceived children, like adopted ones, fare better psychologically when told of their origins from babyhood and allowed to trace their relatives if they wish to, there is a push to prohibit anonymity. It is, in any case, a false promise, thanks to DNA testing. There would be a cost: when anonymity is banned the number of donors falls. Other countries have decided that is a price worth paying for children’s well-being. Anonymity (and the fact that donors can be paid) is one of the reasons America has become an exporter of sperm.

Many observers would also like a law requiring clinics to do more comprehensive screening for health conditions. In 2014 a once-popular donor who had fathered innumerable children in several states and at least two other countries was found to have lied about being a polyglot neuroscientist with an IQ of 160 and perfect health. He was, rather, a university drop-out with a criminal record and several health disorders. The case has sparked multiple lawsuits against the clinic in Georgia that had marketed and sold his sperm without checking his medical records or conducting a criminal check. Several were dismissed on the ground that the clinic was not breaking the law.■

(文章来源:the economist 2021.3.06期)

重点表达积累

brace yourself for (something unpleasant or difficult) 使做好准备(面对不快的事或困难)

steer clear of 避开;绕开biological parent亲生父母go through a period of extraordinary and unprecedented growth经历了一个非凡的、前所未有的增长期outnumber(在数量上)压倒,比…多raise ethical questions引发道德问题overdue adj. 过期的;迟到的cap 限制incest n. 乱伦;近亲通婚an undiagnosed hereditary health condition一种未确诊的遗传疾病fecundity n. 繁殖力trace their blood relations 追溯他▊们的血缘关系forge strong relationship建立稳固的关系be curious about 对…感到好奇prohibit anonymity 禁止匿名spark multiple lawsuits against引发多起诉讼conduct a criminal check进行刑事检查

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扩大志愿者招募范围了

捐精有补贴还报销往返动车票!

安徽省人类精子库设立在安徽医科大学第一附属医院,是安徽省第一家也是唯一一家可合法开展人类精子冷冻保存和提供自愿捐精服务的专业医疗机构。近日,记者走进安医大一附院人类精子库进行了实地探访。

安医大一附院人类精子库主任贺小进教授介绍,人类精子库主要是招募捐精志愿者,采集冷冻合格精液标本,为合法开展供精辅助生殖技术的医疗机构提供健康合格的精液,同时开展全方位高水准的人类精子冷冻技术,为接受放化疗的男性肿瘤患者等需要进行男性生育力保存的适宜人群提供冷冻保存相关技术服务。

 

一名志愿者一生仅能在一家精子库进行捐精,且同一志愿者精液最多只能使5名妇女受孕,志愿者与接受者及所出生的子代信息实行严格双盲制,同时精子库对志愿者所有信息进行严格保密。 

捐精流程私密、安全

三间“取精室”是精子库最为神秘的地方,它们均为独立的区域,记者看到,三间取精室里分别放置有沙发、洗手池等,墙上张贴有六步洗手法和消毒步骤等健康提醒,比较特殊的是墙上还设置有危机情况下的紧急呼叫按钮。整个取精过程都是绝对安全私密的,由捐精志愿者独立完成。

 

取精室与精液分析实验室有对接窗口,捐精志愿者可通过对接窗口与工作人员“隔空交流”,这样的设计避免了捐精志愿者与工作人员面对面的尴尬,也保证了捐精志愿者的隐私。捐精志愿者在取精以后,通过精液标本放置处的窗口将精液送入精液分析实验室,随后实验室检验人员会从窗口及时取走精液标本。

待精液标本液化后,工作人员在显微镜下对精液标本进行分析,将检验合格的精液分装并编号。经过冷冻复苏,将合格精液标本放入-196摄氏度的液氮罐内储存。冷冻6个月后,捐精志愿者将再次抽血复查HIV、乙肝、血型等,合格后精液才可外供使用。

 

此外,咨询接待室、初筛实验室、冷冻保存实验室、储存室、档案室、外供室等,冷冻保存实验室的无菌要求与手术层流洁净室同一标准。

扩大爱心捐精影响

“捐献财物、无偿献血……这些公益行动给人以生存的基础和信心,而志愿捐献精液,则更是一种高尚的人道主义行为。”贺小进教授表示,我省是人口大省,经测算,我省约有1400万育龄人口,其中男性无精子症的患者约有7万人。这些患者都将受益于安医大一附院人类精子库的正式运行。志愿者捐赠精液,可以挽救无数不育家庭,帮助构建和谐社会。

据介绍,安徽省人类精子库以治疗不育症及预防遗传病和提供生殖保险等为目的,为国内获得卫生行政部门批准开展人类辅助生殖技术的医疗机构提供相关技术服务。

精子库的成立,填补了安徽省人类精子库技术服务的空白,标志着我省人类辅助生殖技术迈向了一个新台阶。

记者了解到,数据统计,目前在安徽省人类精子库成功进入正式捐精阶段的200余人,接待志愿者1000余人。

安医大一附院人类精子库公开招募捐精志愿者

完成整个捐精阶段可获得近5000元左右补助近2000元的全身免费体检套餐

捐精流程简化,由原来的6个月时间改为现在前期1-2个月即可完成捐精99%流程。

扩大了志愿者招募范围,由原来要求的常住合肥改为安徽省内志愿者,并且如果外地志愿者进入合格期完成整个捐精过程可以报销往返动车二等座车费

提高了捐精福利,除了交通补贴外,在完成精子库要求捐精支数后可享有免费的1支自体精液冷冻保存达5年

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咨询电话:0551-62923246,0551-62923258

地址:安医大一附院科教大楼7楼。

捐精是一种人道主义行为

不光补贴了自己的生活

还做了好事,何乐而不为

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来源:合肥晚报

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