16/03/2010 09:12 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Fertility Clinic Is Raffling A Human Egg

A fertility clinic is holding a raffle - and the prize on offer is a human egg.

The winner of the raffle will be able to pick an egg donor and will receive £13,000 worth of free IVF treatment in America.

The event is being run to promote a partnership between the Bridge Centre, a fertility clinic in London, and the Genetics and IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia.

The service the clinics provide is aimed at women mainly in their forties and fifties who need to use donor eggs.

A number of women from Britain have already been treated, using eggs provided by American donors, all university students or graduates.

The British women can check profiles of the donors and can see photographs.

In America women donating eggs can make up to $10,000 a time.

However the practice has been condemned by many. Josephine Quintavalle, founder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, a pressure group, told the Times: "In no other branch of medicine would the ruthless exploitation of the vulnerable be tolerated.

"These women selling their eggs are taking a huge risk with their health and future fertility simply because they need the money."

Here in the UK, women cannot receive payment for donating eggs, and can get a maximum of £250 for expenses.

Celia, a 38-year-old from the Midlands, told the Times she had used the American service and is now expecting twins after receiving eggs from a 27-year-old American donor.

"I wanted someone who looked a bit like me as an adult, but the main consideration was the quality of her eggs," said Celia.

"This woman produces 30 at a time, and they were split between me and another woman, otherwise the cost of donation would have been double the £9,000 we actually paid.

"I don't want anyone to know these babies are not mine. Not my family or any of my friends. We don't intend to tell the children, either."

What do you think? Should this practice be allowed? And should the clinic be allowed to raffle an egg as a promotion?

Source: The Times