Skye Miner is a PhD candidate in Sociology at McGill University with a Women and Gender Studies’ emphasis. My current research interests are in the intersections between EU policy, science, technology, ethics and gender. My work has been supported by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill’s Institute for Health and Social Policy, the Wolfe Fellowship, and the Jean Monnet Center.
Can you tell us more about your research?
My research explores how national regulations (i.e. Canadian, Czech Republic and Spain) and EU policy affect the practice of cross border fertility care that involves the use of donated eggs. I am interested in how various fertility practioners interpret these regulations and how this interpretation affects patient care. Additionally, my research examines how these disparate policies create international fertility markets and how these fertility markets affect the creation of new global citizens.
What methodology do you use?
My research consists of ninety-two semi-structured interviews. I have travelled to the Czech Republic and Spain as well as across Canada interviewing various fertility professionals (i.e. physicians, egg donor coordinators, counsellors and lawyers) about their experiences caring for local and international patients in need of egg donors. These seventy-one interviews explore these fertility professionals’ interpretation of the fertility law that they practice under as well as their opinions on patients who travel. I have also interviewed twenty-one fertility patients who have either travelled or stayed in Canada for their care. These interviews explore the factors that have lead them to travel for care, and the effects the local law has on their fertility care.
You study the EU from Canada; what are the assets and challenges derived from this particular situation?
I am an American who is studying issues that both affect Canadians and EU citizens. This places me in a unique position as I must understand multiple different health care laws and systems. Although sometimes challenging, my outsider position also means that I am learning these health care regulations from the ground-up rather than assuming something as fact.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a student who is starting their research on the EU, what would it be?
Before I started researching the European Union’s policies in relationship to assisted reproductive technology, I thought it was something only political scientists did. However, through my research, I realized how EU policies can affect life outside of the political arena. The advice that I would give is «Think about how your research interests may expand EU studies in a new way».