New York's decision to become the first state to allow taxpayer-funded scientists to pay women for eggs to be used in embryonic stem cell research is being greeted with both praise and criticism.
Women who donate eggs will receive up to $10,000 for the time, discomfort and expenses associated with the procedure, the Washington Post reported. The new policy conflicts with guidelines issued by scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the newspaper said.
Supporters of the decision say it will help advance stem cell research.
"This is a really great, appropriate policy," Susan Solomon, co-founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a private, nonprofit research organization, told the Post. "This could help us to pursue some critical experiments that we hope will lead to treatments for devastating diseases."
But critics fear New York's policy will result in the exploitation of vulnerable women.
"In a field that's already the object of a great deal of controversy, the question is, are we at the point where we really need to go that route in order to do the science?" Jonathan D. Moreno, a professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Post. "I'm not convinced."