The concept of the free market has, it seems, led to rising prices for highly desirable human eggs. Although the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends paying egg donors no more than $10,000, a controversial new study in The Hastings Center Report, a bioethics journal, found that ads in student newspapers and on Facebook promise ideal donors up to $50,000, and that graduates from top colleges can get thousands of dollars extra for their eggs, with fees rising in step with a school's average SAT scores.
Donors deserve something for their time and pain, says Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon, but the promise of a huge windfall can make young women conceal medical problems or make reckless decisions they'll regret. Reproductive medicine industry spokesman Sean Tipton, as quoted in The New York Times, says the concerns over "regret" smacks of sexism: "You never hear discussions about, 'Oh, the sperm donor is going to regret it some day." Watch an ABC News report on the ethical implications of inflation in the egg market:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- How the brides of ISIS are attracting Western women
- How to live a long life, according to science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The secret advantages of great penmanship
- For Democrats, the right lesson from 2014 is to be more liberal
Subscribe to the Week