Reproductive Ethics

Reproductive Ethics

            Recently, Levine (2010) conducted a study that surveyed advertisements for egg donors in college newspapers. Two issues are raised in this study. One is that half of the number advertisements had compensations which exceeded the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) limit of $10,000, although legally there are no limits. The other is that colleges and universities with higher average SAT scores are more likely to contain advertisements of compensations exceeding $10,000.

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            The first issue opens up several ethical concerns. One is the presence of compensation, which brings about the presence of selling body parts. Just how much does a kidney cost, or a liver? The same issues with organ donation are also raised in compensated egg donation. Yet others would argue that egg cells will only be eliminated at menstruation. Why not make use of them? Yet ultimately, egg cells are ultimately used in producing children. Compensating egg donation implies that the children that they would ultimately form are also sold. Furthermore, if children born from the eggs of higher compensated women did not turn out well, would there be a money back guarantee?

            The second issue also raises ethical concerns. The findings imply that smarter women deserve a higher compensation for donating their eggs. This not only also raises the concern that children are being sold. It also raises the concern that children who have smart biological mothers, or are impliedly as smart, are more expensive. It raises questions regarding the value of human life and intelligence. Are smarter people more valuable than their counterparts with lower intelligence? Is there a price for intelligence?


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