MercatorNet: Obtaining eggs from women volunteers is essential for Harvard?s experiments. Do you foresee any problems?
Sherley: Very knowledgeable human endocrinologists, bioethicists, and women's rights advocates have provided prescient warnings regarding the potential for exploitation of women in meeting the demand for egg donors that may be created by human embryo cloning research. There is already an active unregulated service economy based on provision of human eggs for IVF in the US. Currently, women receive significant financial compensation for undergoing an invasive procedure for harvest of their artificially hormonally-matured eggs. The US National Academy of Sciences has recommended that women who donate eggs for human embryo cloning experiments receive no compensation beyond the costs they incur for participation. This is the policy to which Harvard reports that its scientists will adhere.
Even Economics 101 is not required to realize that this is plan may potentially reduce the plight that cloning experiments pose for human embryos. Harvard scientists are likely to find that they cannot recruit sufficient women who will volunteer their eggs to make embryos that will be killed for cloning research, when instead they could receive as much as US$15,000 for eggs that will be used to conceive babies for infertile parents.
-MercatorNet interviewing James Sherley
This is a good follow-up up to my post on the much-ignored ethical problems of human egg donation.