Kathy Posner With Mancow Erich Muller

New York has become the first state to permit researchers to pay women up to $10,000 for the “expenses, time, burden and discomfort” of donating their eggs for stem cell research.The Empire State Stem Cell Board (the Board) quietly voted on June 11th to allow funding for egg donation, but no one seemed to notice the story until the Washington Post broke it this week. The Board has $600 million in state funding for stem cell research. That will buy a lot of eggs!The Board issued a statement that read, “On June 11, 2009, the Empire State Stem Cell Board (the “Board”) voted to allow funding of research on stem cell lines derived using eggs (called “oocytes”) donated solely for research purposes where the donor was, or will be, compensated for the expense, time, burden and discomfort associated with the donation process -- within specified limits -- as is currently permitted when women donate oocytes for reproductive purposes in New York State. The Board’s decision followed extensive deliberation that included consideration of the great potential of stem cell research, national and international ethical standards, and mechanisms to safeguard the rights and welfare of oocyte donors. The Board agreed that it is ethical and appropriate for women donating oocytes for research purposes to be compensated in the same manner as women who donate oocytes for reproductive purposes and for such payments to be reimbursable as an allowable expense under NYSTEM contracts.”I guess the reason the media did not realize what was going on because The Board spoke of oocytes and who has that word on their Google alerts?A woman cannot just show up and drop off her basket of eggs and pick up a $10,000 check. The Board did acknowledge that the high payments could unduly influence women to donate but the Board has “previously instituted by contract a number of important safeguards, including requiring full disclosure of all physical and psychological risks associated with oocyte donation, directing that informed consent be obtained through a dynamic process focused on the donor’s comprehension of the information provided, and mandating availability of psychological counseling prior to donation."Men can donate their sperm with little or no psychological counseling, but it is quite easy for a man to perform the actions necessary to fill up a cup with their swimmers; the procedure is not so simple for women and eggs.An unfertilized egg is not a potential human being, so while I am Pro Life, I feel no ethical dilemma in this situation. I would donate in a minute to help scientific research, but unfortunately my eggs are already scrambled.