The State of Arizona has enacted legislation making it unlawful to sell or purchase human oocytes (eggs from women’s ovaries for the non-science folk).
Now the bad news.
The State of Arizona has enacted legislation making it unlawful to sell or purchase human oocytes.
Confused? Well let me explain. I’m all for making it unlawful to buy and sell eggs. It puts enormous pressure (coercion) on women, poor women, minority women and even the stuggling college co-ed to make some much needed money all for the good of science. Also, the drugs used to hyperovulate women, so that they can donate their eggs is VERY risky business. i.e. women can die from this procedure (two women in the last six months in the United Kingdom have died from hyperovulation). There are all kinds of breaches in informed consent when women ‘donate’ their eggs to science. For example, did you know that a side effect is premature menopause…how many 20 something year old women are told that??
But, the bad news is, while women put their health and bodies into harms way for the sake of science, and can’t benefit financially–everybody else can make money? Scientists and researchers can profit from discoveries made at the expense of a woman’s altruistic gift. Big bio and big pharma can get rich from developing therapies from this research. Patents bring in big profits too. What’s wrong with this picture?
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.