Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Is it unethical to pay more than $10,000 for human egg donation? (An antitrust suit...)

The NY Times has the story: Egg Donors Challenge Pay Rates, Saying They Shortchange Women

"In a federal lawsuit, a group of women are challenging industry guidelines that say it is “inappropriate” to pay a woman more than $10,000 for her eggs. The women say the $10,000 limit amounts to illegal price-fixing, and point out that there is no price restriction on the sale of human sperm. A federal judge has certified the claim as a class action, which will most likely go to trial next year.
"While many other countries limit egg donation and the compensation that is allowed, egg donation is essentially unregulated in the United States. But in 2000, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine established the guidelines for how much women should be paid. They say that compensation over $5,000 requires “justification,” and that more than $10,000 is “beyond what is appropriate.” The amounts have never been adjusted.
The society argues that capping the price ensures that low-income young women are not drawn to donate by a huge payout without considering how it may affect their lives.
“If the compensation became too high, there is a concern that it might be incentive for donors to lie about their medical history,” said Tripp Monts, a lawyer representing the society. “And it could induce young women to donate without thinking too far down the road.”

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