British Fertility Clinic Raffles Off American Egg
Promotion for transatlantic service sparks controversy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2010 4:00 AM CDT
It is illegal for British IVF clinics to pay egg donors anything more than around $600 for expenses.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A London fertility clinic has sparked controversy with a raffle sidestepping British laws by offering women a chance to win an American egg of their choice. Paying egg donors more than expenses is illegal in Britain, but the clinic is offering to fly the winner—who will be allowed to select an egg based on the donor's race, upbringing, and profession—to the US for treatment, the Daily Mail reports.

Critics from reproductive ethics group labeled the contest "deplorable," accusing the clinic of commodifying human life with a "blatantly commercial initiative" and of exploiting cash-strapped donors. The clinic's director defended the raffle, aimed at promoting its transatlantic treatment service, and said the company is merely responding to a shortage of donors in Britain. "This is how Americans do it," he said. "In order to attract people to seminars, they offer one free treatment for people to come."