In today’s WSJ, Ashby Jones discusses Kamakahi v. ASRM, the egg donor antitrust suit that I’ve written about on numerous occasions (see links below). From the text:
How much is a human egg worth? The question is at the heart of a federal lawsuit brought by two women who provided eggs to couples struggling with infertility.
The women claim the price guidelines adopted by fertility clinics nationwide have artificially suppressed the amount they can get for their eggs, in violation of federal antitrust laws.
The industry groups behind the price guidance—which discourages payments above $10,000 per egg-donation cycle—say caps are needed to prevent coercion and exploitation in the egg-donation process.
But the plaintiffs say the guidelines amount to an illegal conspiracy to set prices in violation of antitrust laws. The conspiracy, they argue in court papers, has deprived women nationwide a free market in which to sell their eggs, and enabled fertility clinics to “reap anticompetitive profits for themselves.”
One thing I did not previously know is that, according to the article, the court will hear motions later this summer on certifying an expanded class that would include not only past donors (as is currently the case) but also potential future donors. It wasn’t clear to me from the article what sort of relief would be sought on behalf of these future donors. Perhaps injunctive relief? I’ll have to leave it to the Civ Pro experts to speculate.
In any event, my fifteen minutes of fame come at the end of the article:
Kimberly Krawiec, a law professor at Duke University who has studied the egg-donor industry, played down such concerns, adding that mothers-to-be generally aren’t looking to build a genetically superior child. Ms. Krawiec said she had little issue with couples paying more for eggs from women with, say, high SAT scores. “Fertile people have been screening for beauty and intelligence for years and years,” she said. “It’s called dating.”
The ASRM defense that the price caps are needed to prevent differential payments for particular traits is one I address in more depth in a forthcoming Journal of Applied Philosophy article. I’ll be back to say more about that in the coming days.
- Sunny Samaritans’ Suit Survives
- ASRM Seeks Dismissal of Egg Donor Suit
- Kamakahi v. ASRM et al. — Updates
- Politics And Profits in The Egg Business (When Sunny Samaritans Sue, IV)
- When Sunny Samaritans Sue, Part III
- When Sunny Samaritans Sue, Continued
- When Sunny Samaritans Sue
- The Value of Smart Eggs
- Taxing Eggs: The Decision