Pregnant women [illustrative]_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
More than six months after the passage of a law to legalize ova donations by healthy women who would be
compensated financially, the donations at all hospitals will now begin. This was
made possible thanks to the passing of regulations by the Knesset Labor, Social
Affairs and Health Committee on Monday.
Health Ministry legal adviser
Mira Huebner told The Jerusalem Post that the law and the new arrangements are
very complicated and thus could not be carried out without regulations,
including stipulations how much money donors would receive for their travel
time, discomfort, loss of work days and effort.
Until now, only women who
were themselves undergoing fertility procedures could donate unneeded eggs to
other women for altruistic reasons. But the serious shortage of eggs that had
been forcing couples to go abroad and pay large sums for the ova coupled with
illegal activities by at least one Israeli fertility specialist here as well as
others allegedly in a Romanian clinic provided the incentive for the new
The bill regulating ova donations was in the making for a
decade and required recognition of continuity from the Ministerial Committee on
Legislation so it could be passed by this Knesset after it was left hanging by
the previous Knesset, which passed it on its first reading and then got stuck in
The ministry finally took the initiative after Deputy
Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman – a Gur hassid representing United Torah
Judaism – began to study the bill and became a strong advocate.
said she hoped the new regulations, which include payment of a total of NIS
10,000 to each donor, would lead to the donation of many more ova, which are now
almost unavailable except from abroad.
“It’s one of the most complex
pieces of legislation I have worked on due to its ethical, commercial, legal,
religious and medical implications,” Huebner said.
Kadima MK Dr. Rachel
Adatto told the committee that she couldn’t vote for the regulations because the
NIS 10,000 was “too small.” But the majority of the committee members did
approve the regulations.
The general hospitals and the four health funds
were informed of the new service.
All licensed IVF units will be required
to carry out the procedure according to the number of donors.
chairman MK Haim Katz concluded that the passing of regulations was a first step
that would grant fertility treatment to women who needed ova donations, thereby
allowing them to avoid much more expensive treatments abroad. But the
regulations “are not yet complete and they will be limited to one year. Then we
will convene again to assess whether they were successful and consider changes
and additions,” he said.