Calgary’s controversy about mixed-race donor selection

Posted by & filed under IVF, News, Sperm.

I’m sure you’ve read in the news this week about a Calgary fertility clinic that refused a patient the ability to select donor sperm from a different ethnic background than hers.

Dr. Calvin Greene, the Regional Fertility Program clinic’s administrative director, was quoted by the Calgary Herald last week, “I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants,” he said. “That’s her prerogative, but that’s not her prerogative in our clinic.”

There is absolutely no medical or scientific basis for Dr. Greene’s policy regarding race-based selection of donor sperm. There are some complicated moral hazards in fertility management. This is not one of them.

Creation of a happy, healthy family from donor sperm, eggs or embryos is based on the choices of the patients seeking treatment, partnered or single. It’s not the place for doctors to regulate the cultural or ethnic makeup of the families we serve.

The Calgary Regional Fertility Program updated their website this week to claim this policy was reversed and that they have treated numerous patients who requested donors of a different ethnicity in the past year.


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