Compensation for Egg Donors: Will Regulation Achieve the Goals?

Saw an interesting interview. Dr. Nicole Noyes, NYU Fertility Center, was discussing on ABC News Egg Donor reimbursement. The interview was candid and quite honest. You may view it here.

They discussed some of the outliers where egg donors were being offered up to 100K for their eggs. At NYU Fertility Center, they apparently offer 8K. Dr. Noyes acknowledged that the average reimbursement across the nation was probably closer to 4K.

As an alternative, she revealed that many women are beginning to cryopreserve (freeze) their own eggs, essentially becoming their own donors in the years ahead. a process that I think has great potential but should still be considered experimental, something that Dr. Noyes failed to mention.

I will admit, the country seems to be a little regulation happy. The answer to all things continues to be regulation in the minds of many.

Our lives are very complicated, I suspect more complicated than our parent's lives and their parent's before that. We humans continue to make our way through the maze of our lives feeling less and less in control. In times of turmoil, oil spills, a fractured economy, lost financial stability and the continual threat of terrorism, we seek stability and security. What better way to achieve this than through regulation? After all, regulation means that we don't have to even worry about that area any more and we can focus on the many other distractions in our lives.

In the real world, however, is the theme of unintended consequences. As we attempt to quell a leak in one part of the dam, another springs open thus relieving pressure. Regulation is almost always an uncontrolled experiment with the most wonderful of intentions. The problem is that  it rarely achieves its lofty goals and almost always complicates the maze further.

The answer to high reimbursements to egg donors is to not offer them. The answer does not include limiting donor reimbursement as it will result in the harm of many recipients.

My field of medicine is the most regulated in all of medicine. In no other field do physicians have to display their success and failure rates for all to see. I have always wondered for those that demand this information, if they would be willing to place their professional lives out there for everyone to see. Oh, I must be confused. Regulation is for everyone else.

Don't regulate the number of embryos to transfer. Don't regulate reimbursement. Guide it all. Suggest strongly. Let the market take care of those that abuse the system. Let patients do the research and make the decisions. An odd concept which may not be entirely popular but one, I can only hope, my readers will at least contemplate.

In this world of unintended consequences, I tend to prefer to walk against the traffic that is coming for I know exactly where to look rather than strolling, when all supposedly is clear, only to be clipped by something originally unseen and unsuspected.

Comments are encouraged.