Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication


Oocyte retrieval, more commonly referred to as human egg donation, is an outpatient surgical procedure commonly used to obtain reproductive cells for fertility treatments. Before retrieval, donors have to complete physical and mental health screenings, and are responsible for self-injecting a three-week series of intramuscular hormones. The known side effects of human egg donation include: ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), acute ovarian trauma, infection, and, in extreme cases, infertility. There are currently no empirically-validated studies regarding presence or prevalence of long-term side effects. Further, because of its unique bio-commerce framework, there are currently no federal regulations for this procedure. Increasingly, ethicists, lawyers, scientists, and public policy scholars (among others) are discussing the complicated facets of donor advocacy. This project lends two additional perspectives to the scholarly conversation: through pedagogical application and rhetorical research. The first piece uses the unique body of egg donor scholarship to teach information literacy to nursing students. The second piece examines the presence of unethical rhetoric in 2010-2013 Stanford Daily egg donor solicitations via content-analysis. The complex socio-scientific dimensions of this topic make it a compelling niche for future studies. The immediate plans for continued research include follow-up quantitative and qualitative studies to validate the preliminary findings.