It is possible for the eggs to be of another woman (including an immature or unborn woman, although foetal eggs or eggs from sexually immature girls have not yet been used for this purpose). It is also possible, in the case of women with damaged ovaries (eg from cancer) or with premature menopause, that a donated piece of the egg-producing part of their ovaries could be stimulated to produce eggs by hormonal treatment [in vitro]. The donor eggs, when mature, could be fertilized and introduced into the woman's uterus. This raises the possibility of donation of ovarian tissue from dead women.
In 1997 a British woman won an appeal under European law which gives her the right to be artificially inseminated using the sperm of her dead husband. He had not given his written consent.
3. Questions of consent (next-of-kin of a cadaver or aborted foetus) and rights concerning the offspring are raised, for example the rights of genetic relatives.
4. The various techniques of artificial reproduction, which would seem to be at the service of life and which are frequently used with this intention, actually open the door to new threats against life. Apart from the fact that they are morally unacceptable, since they separate procreation from the fully human context of the conjugal act, these techniques have a high rate of failure: not just failure in relation to fertilization but with regard to the subsequent development of the embryo, which is exposed to the risk of death, generally within a very short space of time. Furthermore, the number of embryos produced is often greater than that needed for implantation in the woman's womb, and these so-called "spare embryos" are then destroyed or used for research which, under the pretext of scientific or medical progress, in fact reduces human life to the level of simple "biological material" to be freely disposed of. (Papal Encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, 25 March 1995).
3. Well, not quite. A New Jersey fertility clinic paid $5000 US for human eggs in 1998.