NEWS ALERT: California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has added to their agenda for their meetings tomorrow and Friday 9/16-17 compensation to donors for their eggs.
They will have a presentation by Robert Klitzman, M.D. on the”New York State Science Stem Cell Policy on Donor Compensation”. Klitzman serves on the Empire State Stem Cell Board. Of course Klitzman supports policies that pay women for their eggs for research purposes, so it is no surprise that CIRM has invited him to give this presentation at their meeting this week. It is also clear from the background documents on the CIRM website that their discussion will not be around the protection of the health and well-being of young women, but on compensation for their eggs. And I also note that no opposing voice has been added to their discussion. Seems to me that the NY decision to move forward on compensating women up to $10,000 for their eggs is now the model which other states like CA will adopt. Keep in mind that the ASRM guidelines suggest a woman can “donate” her eggs up to 6 times, which means it is possible for a young woman to make up to $60,000 for risking her health, future fertility and perhaps her life. Shortages in human eggs for IVF and research purposes are driving the compensation debates. I take some hope that our efforts in educating women of the exploitive practices and lack of regard for their health and well-being, along with getting the facts out that egg donation carries very real risks is having an effect. And hope that no matter what CIRM or other states do, the egg shortage will remain because women will reject putting themselves in harms way!
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- 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.