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
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week