“The angel of the house” in the realm of ART: feminist approach to oocyte and spare embryo donation for research
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AbstractThe spectacular progress in assisted reproduction technology that has been witnessed for the past thirty years resulted in emerging new ethical dilemmas as well as the revision of some perennial ones. The paper aims at a feminist approach to oocyte and spare embryo donation for research. First, referring to different concepts of autonomy and informed consent, we discuss whether the decision to donate oocyte/embryo can truly be an autonomous choice of a female patient. Secondly, we argue the commonly adopted language of gift is misleading and that calling for altruism could put female patients at risk of exploitation. Finally, we point out that the presence of gender stereotypes in the procreative area casts doubt whether even a more robust notion of informed consent manages to overcome this risk.