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Regen Med. 2007 Mar;2(2):203-9.

Why we should, in fact, pay for egg donation.

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Department of Gender and Women's Studies, UC Berkeley Stem Cell Center, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


In this perspective, I shall argue that women who donate eggs solely for human embryonic stem cell research ought to be compensated. My argument rests on three inter-related principles. First, it is important to recruit the healthiest possible egg donors to minimize the risks of donation. This would relieve pressure to donate on those suffering from diseases that might be treatable with stem cell-based therapies, who are likely to be at greater risk from donation. Second, I believe that it is crucial to be pro-active in building representative stem cell banks, especially in stem cell initiatives paid for, in part, by the public/government. The right of all groups to participate in and benefit from equitable and safe research must be developed for egg donors as for other kinds of research participants. Particular attention should be paid to the opinions and desires of women from historically underserved populations as to how to conduct donations and guide research so as to serve all members of society. Third, reasonable payment would undermine tendencies for domestic and international black and grey egg markets for stem cell research to develop. I then suggest replacing the question of compensation with the question of harm mitigation as the central donor protection issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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