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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter





Betting for a baby: To Hatch launches an IVF lottery

11 July 2011

By Kimberley Bryon-Dodd

Appeared in BioNews 615

A controversial lottery, offering £25,000 worth of IVF treatment as a prize, has been given the go ahead. The Gambling Commission has licensed To Hatch, a UK charity offering fertility advice, to sell tickets to win the fertility treatment in a monthly draw.

The creator of To Hatch, Camille Strachan said: 'We will offer struggling couples a completely tailor made service. We hope the To Hatch Lottery can ease the burden on the NHS and reduce the stress slightly on some of those who are struggling'.

Both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the British Fertility Society (BFS) have issued statements outlining their concerns over the proposed lottery.

'The British Fertility Society is very troubled by the announcement that the charity To Hatch is about to launch an IVF lottery. Although access to effective fertility treatment on the NHS remains patchy, and expensive for those who take the private route, we cannot condone this kind of activity', said Alison McTavish, secretary of the BFS. 'A competition like this, where only the lucky few will be given the chance to start a family, mirrors the 'postcode lottery' of IVF provision on the NHS and is equally unfair'.

The HFEA said in its statement: 'The HFEA is strongly of the view that using IVF as 'prize' in a lottery is wrong and entirely inappropriate. To do so runs counter to the ethos that underpins our regulatory system and clinical practice. It trivialises what is for many people a central part of their lives'.

The lottery will begin on 30 July, with tickets costing £20 a time and the prize open to anyone – not just couples. Single, gay and elderly players won't be excluded from taking part, and if IVF treatment is not a suitable option, it has been suggested that the winner will be offered alternative treatments such as sperm donors, egg donors or surrogacy.

Winners will receive IVF treatment in a choice of one of five top fertility clinics as well as accommodation and other expenses incurred as part of the treatment.

 

 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

15 October 2012 - by Daniel Malynn 
'Win a Baby' follows the trials and tribulations of Camille Strachan, a former City worker and model, who plans to launch the UK's first IVF lottery. Unlike many documentaries where the maker's own thoughts are thrust in front of anyone else's, the commentary is fairly neutral, allowing viewers space to form their own opinions... [Read More]
25 June 2012 - by Jessica Ware 
The Sher Institute, a network of eight fertility clinics in the USA, has announced the three couples to win an IVF giveaway contest... [Read More]
12 September 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
A Canadian radio station has caused shock by announcing a competition in which contestants will compete for the chance to win a baby. The event is even being promoted by an advert featuring a baby holding up a sign saying 'Win me!'... [Read More]
15 August 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman 
A US fertility lawyer has pleaded guilty to participating in what prosecutors have called a 'baby-selling ring'... [Read More]
08 August 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
The London Sperm Bank (LSB) is to launch an online 'dating agency-style' catalogue listing the appearance, physique and personalities of its sperm donors... [Read More]

04 April 2011 - by Marianne Neary 
Couples struggling to conceive face more disappointment as NHS North Yorkshire and York joins a growing number of trusts restricting access to IVF after it decided to suspend funding for assisted conception services, save for those who demonstrate a 'clinical exception'.... [Read More]
22 March 2010 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel 
'IVF doctors to raffle human egg' ran the Sunday Times headline on 14 March 2010. A seminar sponsored by an American clinic took place in London at which a human egg and a cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment was awarded to one couple who attended... [Read More]
21 March 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper 
'More and more' Brits are travelling to the US for donor egg IVF, according to a physician at the heart of last week's egg raffle controversy. The Genetics & IVF Institute (GIVF) near Washington DC has already treated around 10 British women and a further 15 - 20 are interested, Dr Laurence Udoff told reporters at a news briefing on Wednesday.... [Read More]
15 March 2010 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A couple in the US has taken a novel approach to meeting the cost of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. Rather than approaching the bank or re-mortgaging the family home, as some couples are reported to have done, Brandi and Shelton Koskie decided to try to raise the money required - estimated to be around $12,000 - through private fundraising.... [Read More]
29 October 2009 - by Ben Jones 
The Labour party is urging the Scottish parliament to take action to standardise IVF provision across Scotland, after Labour MSP Jackie Baillie discovered wide disparities in provision between the 11 Scottish NHS boards. Ms Baillie contacted all of the boards after having been approached by a constituent who was upset about the length of IVF waiting lists where they lived.... [Read More]

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