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The mark-up on human eggs
As ads in Ivy League newspapers offer up to $50,000 for "extraordinary eggs," a debate breaks out over inflation in the reproductive market
 
The price tag of an egg donation, which is time-consuming and painful, is a hotly debated topic.
The price tag of an egg donation, which is time-consuming and painful, is a hotly debated topic.
Corbis

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:

 

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