Can a price be placed on human eggs?

| | November 24, 2015
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There’s something funny about the U.S. market for eggs. No, not the kind that spring from chickens and go into making pancakes, but those that come from humans and go into making babies. These eggs – tiny bundles of reproductive DNA – are produced by young women at the peak of their fertility. They are sold in the United States for anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000. And they exist in an Alice in Wonderland world of explicit denial, where prices are capped far below their open-market value and even the most expensive transactions are classified, universally, as “donations.”

What is surprising, though, and disconcerting, is that egg prices are also exceedingly variable, ranging easily up to $10,000 for the same kind of harvest, and occasionally reaching over $50,000. Even more surprising is that, in theory at least, these prices are capped. According to guidelines issued in 2000 by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the reproductive wing of the American Medical Association, any compensation over $5,000 requires “justification,” and compensation over $10,000 is “beyond what is appropriate.” Legally, these guidelines have no standing, since the ASRM is a non-governmental body. In practice, though, they set a floor for egg compensation, particularly in those parts of the country where the fertility trade is quieter and less active, such as Alaska, New Hampshire, and Wyoming.

Read full, original post: Putting a Price on Human Eggs Makes No Sense

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