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

Tuesday March 7 th 2017, 16:00-19:00

7101 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC

Room 3019, 3 rd floor

Followed by a reception

Abstract:

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

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Vardit Ravitsky est professeure agrégeé 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, Etats-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 sante 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   

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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 

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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.

Erin Ashley Singer – Producer, Journalist & Lawyer

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Erin Ashley Singer  has more than 15 years in the media industry as a television producer, journalist and lawyer. She has a bachelor degree in Journalism from Concordia University, Civil and Common law degrees from McGill University and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2007.  She obtained a certificate in entertainment law from Osgoode Law School in 2013.  Following law school, she worked as a reporter for CTV News (Bell Media). Later, Erin joined CMJ Productions, where she was responsible for content and for overseeing the research team of the critically acclaimed docudrama series The Will  (Investigation Discovery USA). Over the years she worked as a researcher, story producer & director on a number of factual original series, many which have been distributed worldwide including CMJ productions Fatal Vows and Strangers In the Home. More recently, she helped launch Attraction Images new International Factual Development department.  She hosted and directed the recent CBC In Vitro documentary where she followed the stories of four people at various stages of IVF. Erin is the recipient of the YWCA Young Women of Distinction Award, the Jim Allard Broadcast & Ruth Hancock Award from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and is a Terry Fox Scholar.

Lori Braun – Executive Producer, Laurus Productions 

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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.

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