Eggspectations: A critical examination of the donation and ‘social’ freezing of eggs

In Western countries, today, a growing number of women delay motherhood until their late 30s and even 40s, as they invest time in pursuing education and career goals before starting a family. This social trend results from greater gender equality and expanded opportunities for women, but at the same time increases the chance of infertility, as women’s fertility declines rapidly during their 30s. One possible solution to age-related infertility is the use of IVF with donor eggs from a younger woman. A more recent development is the idea dubbed ‘social / elective egg freezing’, whereby women freeze their own eggs at a young age for use later in life, when they are ready to become mothers. These two practices raise a heated ethical and social debate that will be addressed by the panelists in this unique and timely event.

Chair: Vardit Ravitsky, PhD 00:01

Vardit Ravitsky est professeure agrégée aux programmes de bioéthiques, département de médecine sociale et préventive de l’École de santé publique de l’Université de Montréal (ÉSPUM). Elle est également membre de l’Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de Montréal (IRSPUM). Elle a fait ses études en France, États-Unis et Israël. Après une formation post doctorale à l’NIH, elle a occupé une poste académique à l’Université de la Pennsylvanie (USA), une poste de Consultante au Génome Canada et une poste de Conseillère à l’Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (IRSC). Ses enseignements portent sur l’éthique clinique et l’éthique de la procréation. Ses intérêts de recherche concernent les enjeux bioéthiques de la procréation médicalement assistée et de la génétique. Elle s’intéresse particulièrement aux influences culturelles sur le développement des politiques de santé autours des dilemmes bioéthiques.

Panelists:

Kathleen Hammond, PhD (7:05)

Kathleen Hammond completed her PhD in Sociology, as a Gates Cambridge scholar at the University of Cambridge. Her research has focused on the experience of infertility, and the markets, and regulation, of donor gametes, surrogacy, and egg freezing. She has held a number of fellowships, including with the Fondation Brocher in Switzerland, and the Center for Biology and Society at Arizona State University. She was involved with organizing the World Health Organization’s consultation, for their first glossary and guidelines on infertility. She is currently a JD candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law.

Angel Petropanagos, PhD (24:14)

Angel received her Ph.D. in philosophy from The University of Western Ontario, with specializations in bioethics and feminist theory. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in bioethics at Novel Tech Ethics, Dalhousie University. Currently, she is a Clinical Ethics Resident at William Osler Health System and a freelance ethics consultant for fertility clinics. Angel is also the Managing Editor for Impact Ethics blog (impactethics.ca), the co-chair for the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society’s Ethics and Law Special Interest Group, the Canadian representative for FAB Canada and a board member of the Canadian Bioethics Society. She has published on various topics, including assisted reproduction, gene editing, and medical assistance in dying.

Lori Braun – Executive Producer, Laurus Productions (43:44)

Lori Braun is the president of Laurus Productions Inc., which has a keen interest in original factual content, presenting factual content in an original and engaging way to a broad audience. She is the executive producer of documentaries including, In Vitro: Our New Fertility Frontier, a documentary exploring the effects of Quebec In Vitro policy on families, Mile Enders, a coming of middle age comedy documentary, and Maple Mayhem, a documentary about Quebec’s maple syrup production and heist, broadcast on CBC and Canal D in2015. Lori has also written and directed highly rated series including Imposters, Strangers In the Home, and The Will for Discovery ID Canada/US.

The event is sponsored by the Axe ethique et sante du CRE.

Tuesday March 7 th 2017
7101 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC
Room 3019, 3 rd floor