About the law
Man from China seeking eggs to make family sparks ethics debate over for-profit babymaking (commercial surrogacy).
Photo above of a male sperm cell attempting to penetrate an female egg (ovum) in order to fertilize it (See Wikipedia).
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SURROGACY: Medical Council probes egg donor advertisements by Apiradee Treerutkuarkul
The Medical Council of Thailand will look into newspaper advertisements seeking women willing to donate their eggs in exchange for 1 million baht.
The move is in reaction to an ad recently published in the Bangkok Post's classifieds section, announcing a "one million baht reward if you are the one."
The ad specified that the preferred choice of egg donor would be Caucasian or Chinese, aged under 30, taller than 160 centimetres and have an IQ of more than 140.
A receptionist at the number listed in the ad said the selected eggs would be sent to an in-vitro fertilisation lab in China for a Chinese man who wanted to have children.
Medical Council vice-president Ittaporn Kanacharoen said the council would consider on Thursday whether the advertisement violated the council's ban on commercial surrogacy.
It will investigate any Thai doctor who is found to be involved.
Commercial surrogacy in any form is prohibited under Thailand's medical practice and hospital services regulations
Hospitals and doctors providing non-commercial surrogacy services have to meet qualifications laid out in regulations.
Despite the prohibition, Dr Ittaporn said there were some loopholes that could be exploited. Some men marry egg donors but seek a divorce after a baby is born. Some secretly set up a commercial surrogacy operation using foreign women, as was the case when authorities shut down a Taiwanese company that hired 13 Vietnamese women to serve as surrogate mothers.
Police raided Baby 101 company last year and charged an executive and his staff with human trafficking. The Vietnamese women, seven of them pregnant, were sent home.
The women were told they would be paid US$5,500 (165,000 baht) for serving as a surrogate, while the firm charged its clients 1.5 million baht for the service.
Pramuan Virutamasen, a medical expert on in-vitro fertilisation at Chulalongkorn University, said the absence of a law protecting children born via reproductive medical technology made it difficult to stamp out the problem
"Despite the ban, the illegal purchase of female eggs and male sperm occurs here," he said. "It reflects a social problem and involves medical ethics. The Medical Council should do something about it
Dr Pramuan said the selection of someone with a high IQ or race does not always guarantee that the child will be smart or tall.
The chances of having a baby following IVF is 30% depending on the mother's health, age or weight.
Dr Pramuan was involved in drafting legislation that would protect children born using reproductive technology
The bill would provide for a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to 200,000 baht for an employer of a commercial surrogacy operation and a maximum jail term of five years and a fine of up to 100,000 for a surrogacy broker or advertiser.
(Source: Bangkok Post, SURROGACY, Medical Council probes egg donor advertisements, 27/09/2011, Apiradee Treerutkuarkul, link)
Medical Council of Thailand - the regulator of the medical profession in Thailand and as well as a national standards advisory body for medical education and training (See Wikipedia)
Medical Council probes egg donor advertisements - the regulator of the medical profession in Thailand investigates egg donor advertisements
medical practice - the work of a doctor that involves meeting patients, doing a physical examination, running medical tests, giving a diagnosis and prescribing a treatment for a medical condition (See Wikipedia)
ethics - a set of principles people use to decide what is right and what is wrong จริยธรรม
medical ethics - "a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology" (See Wikipedia)
probe - investigate (check something very closely to see if there are problems or law breaking)
look into - same as "probe" (but less serious)
donation - giving something to another person (usually means "free")
egg donation - when a woman gives another person their eggs (to use to make a baby) (See Wikipedia)
donate (verb) - 1. to donate an organ from your body (organ donation) such as your heart or liver (only after you die) or kidney (even possible before you die), usually donate for free, many medical ethics issues here; 2. to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a charity, school, political party, etc. บริจาค
female - of a woman สำหรับผู้หญิง
female eggs - (singular: ovum, plural: ova) the cells produced in a woman's ovaries and developing in the uterus, from which a baby develops (See Wikipedia)
male - of a man
male sperm - the man's baby-making cell (See Wikipedia)
penetrate - passing through something such as a wall or barrier in order to enter a place (example: The soldiers penetrated the fort after battering the gate with logs.)
fertilize - when the sperm enters an egg beginning the creation of life (a new baby)
donor - a person who is giving something to someone else (usually without charge, but here with charge)
egg donor - a woman giving their egg to a man to make a baby with
seeking women willing to donate their eggs in exchange for 1 million baht
pregnant - having a baby developing inside the body ท้อง ตั้งครรภ์
surrogate mother - a woman who has a baby for another person (once born, the mother will not keep and raise the baby herself) (See Wikipedia)
surrogacy - the arrangement and agreement by which a woman gives birth to a baby for another person (who usually cannot have a baby themselves) (See Wikipedia)
in-vitro - outside the body
in-vivo - inside the body
in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) - "a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body: in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. The first successful birth of a "test tube baby", Louise Brown, occurred in 1978. Robert G. Edwards, the physiologist who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010" (See Wikipedia)
in-vitro fertilisation lab - a place with the medical technology needed to perform in-vitro fertilization (lab = laboratory)
reproductive medical technology - same as "assisted reproductive technology"
assisted reproductive technology - "a general term referring to methods used to achieve pregnancy by artificial or partially artificial means. It is reproductive technology used primarily in infertility treatments. Some forms of ART are also used in fertile couples for genetic reasons. ART is also used in couples who are discordant for certain communicable diseases, e.g. AIDS, to reduce the risk of infection when a pregnancy is desired. The term includes any reproductive technique involving a third party e.g. a sperm donor" (See Wikipedia)
absence of a law protecting children born via reproductive medical technology
absence - not being present การหายไป ไม่ปรากฏตัว
ban - an official statement ordering people not to do something การประกาศห้าม; ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
commercial - for business purposes
commercial surrogacy - having a baby for another person (making money doing it; a baby-making business)
the council's ban on commercial surrogacy - the medical council decided that people cannot charge to have babies for other people
commercial surrogacy operation - a business that makes babies for other people using surrogate mothers
non-commercial surrogacy services - when a woman has a baby for someone else (perhaps family or friend) but not for profit
reaction - the way you behave or respond as a result of something that happens ปฏิกิริยาตอบโต้
reward - something given in exchange for good behaviour or good work, etc รางวัล
preferred - like more than others; wanted more than anyone or anything else ซึ่งชอบมากกว่า
preferred choice - the they like the best and choose
caucasian - a white person
receptionist - person working at the front of an office greeting people who visit the office or phone the office (and transferring their phone or writing down messages)
receptionist at the number - receptionist who was answering the phone (at a given phone number)
regulations - rules made by the government to control how some activity is done กฎระเบียบ ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ ระเบียบปฏิบัติ
qualifications - the abilities, qualities, degrees, etc. that you need for a particular job or activity
meet qualifications laid out in regulations - do the things the regulations require you to do
prohibition - a rule or law that says you cannot do some activity
loopholes - legal ways to avoid or go around a law; imperfections in a law that allow people to avoid the law (and do something the law was meant to prevent)
exploit - use for personal gain
exploit loopholes - take some action to get around a law (to avoid a law)
divorce - to take legal action to end a marriage หย่า
authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
executive - the highest level managers in a company
staff - workers, employees พนักงาน
human trafficking - transporting people across national boundaries for use as forced labour or for sexual exploitation
firm - a business or company บริษัม
clients - (formal) customer ลูกค้า
stamp out the problem - end the problem
illegal - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
illegal purchase - buying something that breaks the law
guarantee - 1. being sure that something will happen; 2. a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน (See glossary)
drafting - writing
legislation - a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย
bill - a written document containing a proposal for a new law ญัตติ
provide for Y - make arrangements to deal with situation Y if it happens
jail term - spending time in jail (as punishment for breaking the law)
maximum - the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
maximum jail term of five years - five years is the longest period of time (that a person has to spend in jail for breaking a law)
fine - an amount of money that you have to pay because you have broken the law ค่าปรับ
employer - a person, company, or organisation that pays someone to work for them as a member of their staff นายจ้าง