Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CIRM advocating "compensation for eggs"?

Biopolitical Times reports on a 28 Feb 08 meeting of the "Standards Working Group" [the SWG] of California's CIRM:

Alan Trounson stepped up to the podium, and certainly surprised nearly everyone in the room with a proposal that the SWG support paying women for their eggs by offering them compensation in the way of discounts on their fertility treatments - "egg-sharing" - if they agree to give up some of their eggs before they have achieved their own reproductive success. Never mind that Proposition 71 itself [PDF] prohibits compensation for egg providers in CIRM funded research; the CIRM regulations [PDF], adopted after a deliberative and public process, prohibit compensation; California statute passed and signed into law in 2006 (SB 1260) prohibits compensation in non-CIRM funded research, and the National Academies guidelines [PDF] prohibit compensation. The only permissible payment is for reimbursement of incurred expenses. Trounson made several assertions: (1) researchers cannot use spare embryos (this is incorrect - there is no California law that prevents people from donating embryos to research), (2) it is highly unlikely that women would give extra eggs when they go through fertility treatments (no evidence here), and (3) it is extremely difficult in California to get human eggs (others pointed out that there is no such evidence; however, SWG member Kevin Eggan stated that he hasn't been able to recruit egg donors in Massachusetts).

This would be an example of "the camel getting its nose in the tent."


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