DR. ADRIAN ELLENBOGEN with hospital staff 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Hillel Yaffe Medical Center)
More than a year after the Knesset passed a law allowing the legal donation of
ova from all women who meet the appropriate criteria, not just those undergoing
fertility treatment, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera has performed the
first two implantations this week.
Implementation of the law – which took
a decade to prepare and legislate – had been severely delayed by bureaucracy,
funding problems and a seeming lack of donors.
However, the Hadera
hospital’s in-vitro fertilization found a donor, whose details must by law be
kept completely confidential. Health Ministry legal adviser Mira Huebner gave
most of the credit for the country’s first such procedure to Dr. Adrian
Ellenbogen, the director of the unit. The woman inquired about making the
donation after participating in an online forum discussing the egg-donation
When Ellenbogen made contact with the woman to verify her
desire to make the donation, she said she regarded it as very important to help
those who want children.
The donation procedure is complicated and
involves medical examinations, taking hormones and undergoing minor surgery for
fertile eggs to be removed.
She did so over the last few
“It’s clear that this is a fairly complex process, but the
possible outcome – helping to bring a child into the world for women who seek it
– is invaluable,” said Ellenbogen.
The donated eggs were implanted into
the wombs of two women, who were tested, matched and determined in advance to
meet the criteria.
“When you really want to do something, you can
succeed,” Huebner told The Jerusalem Post
. “Hillel Yaffe set a target and showed
it was possible to meet it. I don’t know how many egg donations there will be
under the law, but this is a big day.”
Doctors at the IVF unit, which is
part of Hillel Yaffe’s obstetrics/gynecology department, said they were “more
than pleased with the first donation and hope to see many more in the future,
since the list of women seeking a donation like this is very long.”