$10,000 eggs

oocyteThe board that manages New York State's stem cell research funding has given the OK for researchers to pay women for their eggs (the technical term is "oocytes"). And not just a few bucks, either. The Empire State Stem Cell Board has approved payments up to $10,000.

New York is the first state to allow its research money to be used this way. Guidelines from the federal National Academies of Science "prohibit cash or in-kind payments for donating oocytes for research purposes."

Fertility clinics already pay women for eggs -- in fact, there are catalogs of egg donors (really). And if that's OK, New York's stem cell board figured it should be OK for research, too:

There is no principled reason to distinguish between donation of oocytes for reproductive purposes and research purposes when determining the ethicality of reimbursement. The risks associated with donating oocytes to stem cell research are no greater than those associated with reproductive donations. Moreover, donating oocytes to stem cell research arguably confers a greater benefit to society than does oocyte donation for private reproductive use.

Researchers working on human embryonic stem cells have voiced support for New York's new guidelines. (Eggs for research have been hard to come by -- researchers have mostly used left-over eggs from fertility treatments. Interestingly, New York's new guidelines don't allow for payments for such "leftovers.") But many prominent bioethicists say they're worried about the payments and the potential for exploitation.

photo via Wikimedia Commons

Comments

Where do I sign up?

Is there a limit on how many eggs you can donate? I'd be happy to give up a dozen of grade-a, jumbo, farm-fresh eggs. At least they'll be put to good use (unlike now, where they just hang around my body like little undetonated grenades, just waiting to wreak havoc on my life).

Um, yeah. $10k? I'll get in line.

All joking aside though, I hear the procedure is invasive and unpleasant.

How unpleasant? I could deal with a fair amount of unpleasantness for 10k.

Actually, it doesn't sound that bad, but they do mention needles and probes.

http://www.mylifetime.com/lifestyle/health/egg-harvesting

funny that I find this information on a Lifetime website.

Dude, 10K? I'm not using my eggs; how many do they want?

I think you have to be shot up with hormones over a period of time so you'll produce enough eggs to be harvested -- or at least I think that's the process.

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