An overview on ethical issues about sperm donation.
Beyond the scientific progress in assisted reproductive technologies (ART), it is necessary to discuss the ethical considerations behind these advances. Ethical issues concerning sperm donation have been considered and discussed by government and non-governmental agencies, the public, media and academic institutions in many countries. Recommendations and guidelines concerning sperm donation issues vary from country to country and between professional groups within countries. This paper attempts to present an overview of findings and reports from various agencies concerning the ethics of sperm donation. The following topics are considered: limiting the number of donor offspring; minimizing risk of infection and genetics from sperm donors; age requirements for sperm donors; and anonymity versus non-anonymity of sperm donors. The diversity of policies shows that each country has its unique set of guidelines tailored toward its own specific needs. Similarly, countries designing their own procedures and guidelines concerning reproductive medicine must tailor them toward their own needs and practical considerations. In Mainland China, the anonymous policy for sperm donation should still be carried out, and the number of donor offspring should be revaluated. ART procedures must be conducted in a way that is respectful of those involved. Ethical principles must respect the interests and welfare of persons who will be born as well as the health and psychosocial welfare of all participants, including sperm donors.