Should Women Be Paid for Donating Their Eggs for Human Embryo Research?

Monash Bioethics Review, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2009

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 552

8 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2011

See all articles by Loane Skene

Loane Skene

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: August 3, 2011

Abstract

This paper considers the arguments that might be advanced in favor of paying women who donate eggs for research and some responses to those who argue that payment should be prohibited. The tradition in medical research in all Australian jurisdictions, as in the UK and Canada, has been that all tissue used in research should be donated gratuitously, including human eggs and embryos. This is also the law in those countries. Payments and other inducements are not permitted beyond reasonable expenses, such as the reimbursement of the donors' medical expenses and compensation for loss of earnings due to the donation. European countries also disapprove of 'commercialization' of human tissue or obtaining financial gains from the donation of human reproductive materials. In the US, on the other hand, there is no federal legislation governing the sale of human eggs. They may be sold for a 'fair price' for use of fertility programs, except in states that have legislative restrictions on the sale of eggs for use in research. With the development of human embryo research, there may be increasing demand for human eggs. Perhaps we should consider whether it is necessary always to prohibit payment or other 'rewards' for egg donors.

Keywords: donating human eggs, human embryo research

JEL Classification: K00, K13, K19

Suggested Citation

Skene, Loane, Should Women Be Paid for Donating Their Eggs for Human Embryo Research? (August 3, 2011). Monash Bioethics Review, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2009, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 552, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1904140

Loane Skene (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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