Gamete donation in a system of need-adjusted reciprocity

Hum Reprod. 2005 Nov;20(11):2990-3. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dei200. Epub 2005 Jul 8.


A new paradigm to collect and allocate donor gametes is proposed. In the system, called indirect mirror exchange, the partner of the person who needs donor gametes, donates in exchange for bonus points that are awarded to the infertile person. All candidate recipients of donor gametes are ranked on a waiting list and receive points according to waiting time, medical urgency, phenotypic resemblance and contribution. According to the principle of fairness, persons who benefit from a system are obliged to contribute their share. However, strict reciprocity is rejected as unfair. A contribution by the couple is thus not a necessary condition for access to the waiting list. The system of reciprocity is adjusted by taking account of need considerations. The number of bonus points awarded to contributors should be high enough to move them to the front section of the waiting list.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insemination, Artificial, Heterologous* / ethics
  • Male
  • Oocyte Donation*
  • Resource Allocation
  • Social Justice
  • Spermatozoa*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Waiting Lists