In what is a controversial move, the New York State will now pay women who give their eggs for stem cell research. The use of public money for such research efforts was welcomed among some sections, but bioethicists and opponents of this research were outraged.
The Empire State Stem Cell Board has decided to give up to $10,000 for women for donating eggs. "What we're doing is making it in some ways more reasonable for women who are interested in donating for research to do so," Dr. Robert Klitzman, director of the new master's degree program in bioethics at Columbia University told The New York Times.
Currently National Academy of Science guidelines do not allow egg donors to be paid, but researchers say getting volunteers for this purpose has been unsuccessful and relying on unused embryos from IVF procedures is not feasible in the long run.
Rev. Thomas Berg, director of the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person, a Roman Catholic research group criticized the move, "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that this is going to create a kind of undue inducement, a scenario in which a person can feel unduly compelled to take advantage of a situation," he said.