Human Exceptionalism

Should Human Egg Selling be Allowed?

Now, they are looking into the illegal purchase of eggs in the Hwang scandal. Meanwhile, there are legislative proposals to ban the sale of human eggs here in the states. But as seen in an article on egg extraction in the New England Journal of Medicine, some bioethicists promote the purchase and sale of eggs for use in cloning experiments and reproductive therapies. Not too much money, mind you. That might sway decisions. But what isn’t “too much” money for a well off bioethicist would be a lot of money for a very poor woman.

Some say in defense of the proposal that we let people sell their blood, so why not their eggs? But most people donate their blood. Those who sell their blood are the poor, and they do it repeatedly to help support themselves. Moreover, blood collection is not nearly as onerous as egg extraction, which can cause significant discomfort and have serious side effects. If egg selling becomes big, the people who will do the selling will mostly be the poor. No wonder so many feminists see cloning as exploitive of women.

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