The race is on for human eggs for the cloning researchers in the U.S. It was bound to happen. The gripe goes, it is not fair that the IVF clinics can pay women to donate their eggs (get that slight of hand . . . “pay” women to “donate” eggs), but the cloning researchers can’t pay for eggs. They are limited to the leftover eggs that are donated to them – which of course comes no where near the number of human eggs they want to do their research.
On one level it make sense that if you can pay women to donate eggs to help make babies, then why can’t you pay them to donate their eggs for research? Of course the rub for me is that we shouldn’t be doing this anyway, anyhow, for any amount of money. We are playing with fire here.
Sadly, I am worried that the practice will change and cloning researchers will be allowed to pay for “donated” eggs. And I would imagine that young egg donors, who are already told that this is safe, or that all procedures carry some amount of risk to them, will most likely opt to “donate” their eggs to research vs. the IVF clinic. Why? Because then the egg donor could donate her eggs on her schedule and not be strapped to the cycle of the infertile woman and she won’t have to worry that children will show up on her doorstep one day and ask, “Are you my mother?”.
- 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.