Hearing Addresses Concerns About Egg Donation
The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council on Thursday held a hearing to discuss potential risks to women who donate eggs for stem cell research, at the request of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Contra Costa Times reports (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 9/29). CIRM administers grants to fund stem cell research under Proposition 71, which state voters approved in 2004.
An IOM committee plans to issue a report addressing potential risks to women who donate eggs for stem cell research. The report is expected later this year or in early 2007 and will include information from the hearing, which included testimony from a panel of health care experts.
The hearing was intended to assess current medical evidence on egg donation to determine whether volunteer egg donors could face health complications from the practice (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29).
Panelists addressed the possibility of donors experiencing overstimulated ovaries, depression and other issues, and suggested that CIRM officials adopt polices to exclude women at higher risk for such side-effects from participating in CIRM-funded research (Contra Costa Times, 9/29).
CIRM President Zach Hall said the intent of the panel and future research CIRM will commission is to "make sure there's nothing lurking here we didn't suspect," adding that evidence presented Thursday did not raise any new questions (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29).
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Thursday reported on IOM and CIRM workshops for women who wish to donate their eggs for embryonic stem cell research about the known risks of egg donation. The segment includes comments from Joe Palca, science correspondent for NPR (Block, "All Things Considered," NPR, 9/28).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.