New York has become the first and only state to opt to pay women for eggs donated for human embryonic stem cell research. The Empire State Stem Cell Board (ESSCB), which oversees New York’s $600 million stem cell research program that was launched last year, came to the decision last week (June 11) following “extensive deliberation” from its ethics committee.
“The Board agreed that it is ethical and appropriate for women donating oocytes for research purposes to be compensated in the same manner as women who donate oocytes for reproductive purposes and for such payments to be reimbursable as an allowable expense” under state taxpayer-backed grants, the ESSCB wrote in a statement.
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But many critics, including Father Thomas Berg, director of the Catholic think tank Westchester Institute for Ethics & the Human Person, argue that compensation will lead to the exploitation of poor and disenfranchised women. Paying women as much as $10,000 – the upper limit under the ESSCB’s directives – will “create an undue inducement” that will put vulnerable women at risk, he said. “It’s precedent setting.”
Another reason to be proud of my state. We’re bankrupt, the Dems and GOPs are fighting like kindergarteners over who’s in charge of the Senate, but we can do this.
I wonder how thoroughly the risks will be explained to women who donate?