Payment of egg donors in stem cell research in the USA

Klitzman, Robert L.; Sauer, Mark V.

Arguments have been put forth as to whether women who donate oocytes for human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research should be compensated, but data regarding this issue have been scant. Recently in the United States, several States have begun funding HESC research, and patient recruitment efforts have begun. This paper lays out relevant arguments and presents data concerning this issue. Researchers are finding that women are unwilling to donate eggs altruistically, which is hampering the progress of research. These efforts are examined, and data on potential donors’ views are presented. The absence of payment, rather than ethical concerns, appears to explain opposition to donation. Women also appear generally ignorant of policies in this area. It is suggested that policy discussions shift focus from whether to pay, to how much would be appropriate, and how to decide; and that research and public and professional education be increased to heighten understanding and awareness of these issues.


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Reproductive Biomedicine Online

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May 27, 2020