'Natl health system must set up sperm banks' experts say

After Constitutional Court struck down ban on donor gametes

(ANSA) - Rome, July 28 - A government-appointed panel of scientific experts said Monday that nothing now stands in the way of activating anonymous sperm banks in Italy.
    From now on, public health facilities must "guarantee all citizens the possibility of assisted reproduction via donor gametes (eggs or sperm), without economic or territorial discrimination," the panel said.
    Italian couples unable to conceive on their own were forbidden to use donor sperm or eggs until the supreme Constitutional Court overturned the ban in June.
    The justices struck it down because it unfairly penalized low-income couples who could not travel abroad to seek treatment. Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin convened the panel to make recommendations as to how to implement the court's decision.
    The public health-care system must allocate money to open "public sperm and egg banks," the experts said.
    Donors should remain anonymous, and their DNA and other data should be cross-referenced to avoid the risk of inbreeding, the panel said.
    For the same reason, the panel recommended limiting the number of live births per donor to a maximum of 25, while also allowing couples to conceive more than one child with the help of gametes (sperm or eggs) from the same donor.


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