Solving a Bioethical Conundrum In My Spare Time and For Free

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What's fair? What the market will bear.

Over in Britain, the British Medical Journal reports that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is puzzled about how much to pay women for selling their eggs to the infertile. Apparently, the current regulated price is $390 and not too surprisingly, this cap has produced a shortage. As the BMJ reports:

Clinicians and egg donors have signalled their support for a rise in the amount of compensation paid to women who donate eggs to infertile women in the United Kingdom, as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority prepares to launch a public consultation on the subject.

Five of six speakers at a debate organised by the Progress Educational Trust and held at the Royal Society of Medicine on 20 October put forward arguments for removing the current cap of £250 (€280; $390) compensation for loss of earnings, although there was no agreement on where any new level should be set.

Well, always being one to help out, let me suggest that solving the problem is really, really simple: Let people voluntarily sell and buy human eggs for whatever price the market will bear. There. Ethical dilemma resolved and at no cost to British taxpayers.

See Kerry Howley's excellent Reason article in which she describes what was involved in selling her own eggs.