Monday, August 17, 2009

NY and STEM CELL Researchers Prostitute Women for Eggs

Payment to cull ovum is unethical

Essays – August 15, 2009 - 3:00am

The Empire State Stem Cell Board approved compensation for women who “donate” their ovum to the tune of $10,000 per cycle. The board, which overwhelming supports human embryo research, was created through a funding allocation buried in a 2006 spending bill and serves at the pleasure of the governor.
New York State stands alone in its plan to give money to women who undergo ovarian hyper-stimulation and surgery to cull their eggs. Embryonic stem cell researchers, not satisfied using leftover embryos, need money directed to women because few will volunteer for medically invasion procedures with unknown consequences.
As unethical as that proposition is, we really do know a lot about the risks of egg harvesting. Women undergoing ovarian hyper-stimulation for infertility treatment suffer side effects from mood changes to increased risks of stroke and death.
Who among us is not aware of the risks of anesthetic? Every invasive procedure increases susceptibly to antibiotic resistant infections.
Consider who will accept $10,000 to sell eggs. It won’t be educated women. The vulnerable woman, for whom $10,000 represents a huge amount of money, will be targeted
Payment for eggs is an outrageous plan to exploit women’s bodies, objectionable in itself. However, two other critical issues are raised. If an egg is worth $10,000, then what’s the price of a kidney; a piece of liver; how about bone marrow?
The week this mercantile arrangement was pronounced, two ethical stem cell announcements were also made.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared a Phase I Clinical Trial to treat congestive heart failure using stem cells from the patients’ own thigh muscles. In another major story, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation awarded $750,000 to scientists making progress evaluating adult stem cell therapy for Type I diabetes.
How sad that New Yorkers pay for patients to wait for some possible future treatment requiring human embryos while progress using ethical stem cells continues in other states. These states will attract patients and professionals establishing careers in cutting-edge medicine.

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