If You Want A Market, Have A Market . . . Otherwise

Eggs Donors Cartoon 2By now most readers will have seen the article in Friday’s New York Times discussing Kamakahi v. ASRM, the egg donor price fixing litigation that I’ve blogged about numerous times here. (See links below). I’ll be back later with more to say about the article, but for now wanted to highlight the following quote from Debora Spar, the president of Barnard College and the author of The Baby Business, an excellent book on the assisted reproduction industry. Says Spar:

Our whole system makes no sense . . .We cap the price because of the yuck factor of commodifying human eggs, when we should either say, ‘Egg-selling is bad and we forbid it,’ as some countries do, or ‘Egg-selling is O.K., and the horse is out of the barn, but we’re going to regulate the market for safety.’

I couldn’t agree more and make a similar point in a recent piece in the Journal of Applied Philosophy (the published piece is gated, but you can access an earlier draft here):

ASRM and SART also defend the compensation guidelines on the grounds that they prevent the undue influence and exploitation of egg donors. . . .

It is worth noting at the outset that many countries ban payments to egg donors entirely, due precisely to concerns such as these. Regardless of one’s views on the ultimate wisdom of such bans, they do possess a certain logic — if the lure of payment will cause women to donate who otherwise would not, then one possible solution is to ban payments. An attempt to address inducement concerns through price caps, however, is an entirely different matter.

Happy reading!

Related posts: 

Share:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookDigg thisShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

One thought on “If You Want A Market, Have A Market . . . Otherwise

  1. Pingback: The NY Times Weighs In On Egg Donor Price Fixing | Kimberly D. Krawiec

Comments are closed.