Looking to make a quick (or not so quick and kind of painful) buck in the recession? New York State is now offering stipends of up to $10,000 to women who donate their eggs to stem-cell research. Researchers are enthralled by this idea, as it means more experimental eggs for them, but some critics fear this new egg market will lead to the exploitation of vulnerable women.
A Catholic priest who opposes the decision explained:
“I think it manipulates women. I think it creates a trafficking in human body parts. With the economy the way it is, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that when a woman is looking at receiving up to $10,000 to sign up for research project, that’s an undue inducement.”
Others argue that the payment is appropriate, and that to not pay women for their donations would be discrimination. Proponents hope the monetary incentive will encourage more donations to what seems to be a promising field in biomedical science; embryonic stem cell research could lead to cures for diseases like diabetes, paralysis, and Parkinson’s.
But before you decide to invest your eggs, remember to read the fine print: “Donors must undergo weeks of hormone injections to stimulate their ovaries to produce eggs and then a painful procedure to extract the eggs,” reported The Washington Post. Ouch!
Personally, I feel uneasy at the thought of giving away my eggs. Not because I believe experimenting on embryos is murder—as some do—but because, well, they’re my eggs! But I guess if you’re looking for ten grand, you might want to give it a second thought.