If you can’t get paid for a kidney, how about for an egg?
We’ve written in the past about the discomfort (or worse) that people feel when it comes to paying donors for organs, even though doing so would likely be an enormous boon for those suffering right now on organ donation waiting lists.
From CNN.com, here is an article discussing a proposal to pay women who donate eggs for stem cell research. One of the things opponents of markets for organs complain about is that if you sell a kidney, you only have one left. With ova, however, that is not an issue. If you can sell plasma, why not ova?
I love the following passage from the article:
Ethicist Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University believes that paying compensation could exploit some women. Women who give eggs to fertility clinics are doing it for the money, she said, and as a society, “we don’t … want the bodies of the poor used for the needs of the wealthy.”
“You do not see many full professors or CEOs selling eggs to secretaries or housecleaners,” she said in an e-mail.
Last time I checked you didn’t see many full professors or CEOs cleaning other people’s houses either, or taking dictation! Is there some reason why it is okay for poor women to use their bodies to clean other people’s houses for money, but it is not okay for them to get paid a much higher hourly wage using their bodies to supply eggs?
Maybe I am just tired, but this ethical line of argument seems even more ridiculous to me tonight than usual.