By the end of the month, individuals who have been waiting for IVF treatment can enter a lottery for a chance to win £25,000 towards fertility treatment in England.
The lottery was launched by To Hatch, a charity that provides community forums and support to those suffering from infertility, and was recently given authorization by the Gambling Commission to go forth with its venture (source: Yahoo/Sky News).
The charity plans to sell tickets for the lottery online for £20 – a small price to pay for a chance to win what is otherwise an expensive treatment. Along with being treated at “one of the country’s top clinics,” the winner will stay in a luxury hotel before being driven to treatment. The lottery is open to anyone – single, gay couples, older members – and if single persons win, they will be awarded with donor sperm, eggs, or a surrogate versus IVF care.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which currently oversees regulations among fertility clinics across the UK, has been called upon to look into Hatch’s recent offer, with one representative apparently reporting concern and claiming the giveaway “trivializes what is for many people a central part of their lives” (source: Belfast Telegraph). Other critics includes CORE founder Josephine Quintaville (Comment on Reproductive Ethics), who views the offer of another woman’s womb as “unacceptable” and in violation of “European Law on the commercialization of human tissue” (source: Yahoo/ Sky News).
Hatch, on the other hand, views their effort as a simple service to those who are less fortunate – providing infertile individuals a greater chance at having a family, especially those in areas where IVF treatments are no longer an option due to cuts by the NHS.
You can read more about Hatch here.