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The central role of altruism in the recruitment of gamete donors

Guido Pennings (UGent)
(2015) MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW. 33. p.78-88
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Abstract
This paper explores problems associated with using altruism as the central value in gamete donation, and in doing so draws on empirical data that sheds light on why gamete donors choose to donate. Donation of bodily material is, arguably, supposed to be motivated by altruism, and this is the view taken by many European governments. Other values are often ignored or rejected as morally inappropriate. This paper analyses some conceptual and practical problems with the use of altruism as the motivation to determine moral acceptability-drawing on empirical data that suggests gamete donors are not motivated purely by altruism, and that motivations are in fact quite complex. Two problems are first analysed: (1) how do we distinguish altruistic from non-altruistic donations and (2) how do we distinguish between removing barriers and providing incentives. A final question, triggered by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report, is whether the meaning of the payment should be decided on the basis of an a priori definition or on the basis of the donors' subjective experience. It is concluded that there are different legitimate core values in donation, which should be balanced. In order to value the good generated by donation, donors with mixed motives should be accepted, as long as helping others is an important motive and also features in their motivation.
Keywords
Altruism, Oocyte donation, Payment, Reciprocity, Solidarity, ORGAN DONATION, MOTIVATIONS

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MLA
Pennings, Guido. “The Central Role of Altruism in the Recruitment of Gamete Donors.” MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW, vol. 33, 2015, pp. 78–88, doi:10.1007/s40592-015-0019-x.
APA
Pennings, G. (2015). The central role of altruism in the recruitment of gamete donors. MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW, 33, 78–88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40592-015-0019-x
Chicago author-date
Pennings, Guido. 2015. “The Central Role of Altruism in the Recruitment of Gamete Donors.” MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW 33: 78–88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40592-015-0019-x.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pennings, Guido. 2015. “The Central Role of Altruism in the Recruitment of Gamete Donors.” MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW 33: 78–88. doi:10.1007/s40592-015-0019-x.
Vancouver
1.
Pennings G. The central role of altruism in the recruitment of gamete donors. MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW. 2015;33:78–88.
IEEE
[1]
G. Pennings, “The central role of altruism in the recruitment of gamete donors,” MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW, vol. 33, pp. 78–88, 2015.
@article{6846087,
  abstract     = {{This paper explores problems associated with using altruism as the central value in gamete donation, and in doing so draws on empirical data that sheds light on why gamete donors choose to donate. Donation of bodily material is, arguably, supposed to be motivated by altruism, and this is the view taken by many European governments. Other values are often ignored or rejected as morally inappropriate. This paper analyses some conceptual and practical problems with the use of altruism as the motivation to determine moral acceptability-drawing on empirical data that suggests gamete donors are not motivated purely by altruism, and that motivations are in fact quite complex. Two problems are first analysed: (1) how do we distinguish altruistic from non-altruistic donations and (2) how do we distinguish between removing barriers and providing incentives. A final question, triggered by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report, is whether the meaning of the payment should be decided on the basis of an a priori definition or on the basis of the donors' subjective experience. It is concluded that there are different legitimate core values in donation, which should be balanced. In order to value the good generated by donation, donors with mixed motives should be accepted, as long as helping others is an important motive and also features in their motivation.}},
  author       = {{Pennings, Guido}},
  issn         = {{1321-2753}},
  journal      = {{MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW}},
  keywords     = {{Altruism,Oocyte donation,Payment,Reciprocity,Solidarity,ORGAN DONATION,MOTIVATIONS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{78--88}},
  title        = {{The central role of altruism in the recruitment of gamete donors}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40592-015-0019-x}},
  volume       = {{33}},
  year         = {{2015}},
}

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