Should Women Be Paid to Provide Eggs for Research or Reproduction?

Authors: Mathilde Formet Published date: 15-07-2016 Status: Published

The issue of whether women should be paid to provide eggs for research or reproduction is complex. An overview of the legal framework of the UK, the US, and some European States reflects this complexity and lack of consensus. Ethical concerns are often raised, but even if money is a driving force, it does not deprive women to freely consent nor does it constitute coercion, exploitation, or commodification. Paying for the services, not for the eggs as goods, justifies the monetary reward (no matter the provider and eggs’ characteristics). Accepting this payment would only enhance women’s autonomy, who are able to decide regarding their own bodies. Moreover, payment for sperm provision is allowed, and so payment for egg provision would establish equality between genders. Furthermore, altruism, an important principle of egg provision, would not necessarily suffer from payment. Currently, there are no strong safeguards, including price and informed consent. Implementation of strong safeguards is essential, and would allow for sufficient supply as well as for more women to experience childbirth and to develop research. Keywords: human eggs, payment, reproduction and research, autonomy, ethics.

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COPYRIGHT: © The UK Law and Society Association, 2016